A MESOPOTAMIAN COPPER CUNEIFORM TABLET

SKU: MS.0058

Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: Isin-Larsa period, Reign of Rim-Sin I, 1822-1763 B.C.
Dimensions: 4.75" height x 3.1" width x .25" depth (12 cm x 7.9 cm x .65 cm)
Medium: Copper

Rectangular in form with concave edges, engraved on both sides and along one edge with a 28-line inscription in Sumerian cuneiform recording the building of a temple for the goddess Ninegal by Simat-Ishtar, wife of Rim-Sîn, reading: "For the goddess Ninegal, great lady, who holds all the mes in her hand, who looks at the numerous people, supreme adviser who looks after the black-headed people, whose ways are not rivalled, aristocrat, whose word excels in the assembly, whose name is noble (enough) for praise, reliable goddess from (her) father who engendered her, whose utterance is favorable, great daughter of the god Sîn, his lady, Simat-Ishtar, beloved spouse of Rim-Sîn, king of Larsa, daughter of Warad-Nanna, when the goddess Ninegal, her lady, called her good name, she built for her Eaagakiliburur ('House which gathers all the commands'), the residence suitable for her divinity, to establish the life of Rim-Sîn forever and for her own life. She enlarged its esusiga more than it had been previously. She placed there for the future her foundation inscription proclaiming her queenly name."

$200,000.00

M. Messayeh. Milton S. Yondorf, Chicago, prior to 1938; thence by descent to John D. Yondorf, Jr. (1924-2010), Chicago, 1948

Intact. Some surface wear and minor abrasions. With malachite green and cupric oxide red oxidation throughout.

The text on this tablet is known from five examples, including the present example; three fabricated from stone and two from copper. Three are now in the British Museum, one is now in the National Museum, Stockholm. They are said to likely have all been placed into the walls of the temple to Ninegal in Larsa.

Rim-Sîn ruled Larsa from 1822-1763 B.C., one of the longest reigns in Mesopotamian history. He was eventually defeated by the Babylonian King Hammurabi.

D.R. Frayne, Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia, Early Periods, vol. 4., The Old Babylonian Period, Toronto, 1990, pp. 293-294, no. 16(5).

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