Age and Origin of the Tablets

Nearly 1200 tablets are from the Ur III kingdom of Babylon, but there are tablets from Sumer, Akkad, and other Babylonian kingdoms.

The tablets in this exhibition fall into the following categories:

1. Royal inscriptions, which include building of temples, accounts of wars, and others.

2. Business and legal documents.

3. Letters and school texts.

4. Other.

The overall collection of tablets can be broken down by number and time span:

Group I: about 1400 items from ca. 3000 B.C.E. to 2300 B.C.E.

The greater part of the collection belongs to this first group. Most of them are       from the Third Dynasty of Ur, around the 22nd century, B.C.E. (c. 2100-2000   B.C.E.).

The language of this group is Sumerian.

Group II: about 1,000 items from ca. 2300 B.C.E. to about 1900 B.C.E.

This group of artifacts are from the Isin, Larsa, and Babylon dynasties of the          time of Hammurabi, about the 20th century, B.C.E.

The language of this group is Babylonian.

Group III: about 300 items from 800 B.C.E. to 300 B.C.E.

In language and in script, this group is of the Neo-Babylonian or the Persian          period.

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About freelibraryrbd

The Rare Book Department is in the Parkway Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
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