Cuneiform Tablets

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Special Collections holds eight cuneiform tablets whose exact provenance is unknown. Seven of the tablets were donated to MU Libraries by the now-defunct Ernest McClary Todd Museum, formerly a part of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. They probably came to the University in the early twentieth century.

Tablet MULC 8 (Z113 .P3 1#1 item 1a) was acquired as part of the Pages from the Past collection, which was a portfolio of leaves and artifacts sold by Foliophiles in the 1960s.

Six of the tablets date from the Ur III period (2100-2000 BCE), are written in Sumerian, and most likely come from the Umma and Drehem archives.  Identifications, translations, and dates for these six tablets were determined in 2012 by Changyu Liu of the University of Heidelberg.

The remaining two tablets are thought to be from the Old Babylonian period (1900-1600 BCE) and are currently unedited.

Images and complete information about the tablets can be accessed at the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative at the University of California Los Angeles.  A complete list of tablets is below.  High resolution scans are available to researchers; email SpecialCollections@missouri.edu

Administrative tablets in Sumerian, Ur III period (ca. 2100-2000 BC)

Unedited tablets