Ur III (ca. 2100-2000 BCE)
2 5/16 x 1 5/16 x 11/16 in. (5.8 x 3.4 x 1.7 cm)
Medium and Support:
Gift of Mr. Gordon Thompson in memory of his father, William G. Thompson, D.D., a student of Babylonian archaeology
Location: Currently on view
Small cuneiform tablets written in tiny script, presumably designed to be more portable, have come to be called "messenger texts." Found in great quantity, they all list small amounts (2, 3, or 5 units) of certain staples-- beer, bread, oil, and alkali-- given to individuals who are named but not otherwise identified. The third line here reads: "3 'pints' of beer, 2 'pints' of bread, 2 'ounces' of sesame oil [to] Bazaza."
[Gallery label text, 1995]