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Cuneiform Envelope Containing a Cuneiform Tablet




Paleo-Babylonian period (2004-1595 B.C.E.)


Cuneiform Envelope Containing a Cuneiform Tablet


About 2000-1700 B.C.E.


Partially baked clay


4.4 x 5.3 x 2.2 cm


Acquired by exchange, inv. 1945.Ea.3


Archeology and World Cultures

Mesopotamians communicated with each other through letters, as the two pieces of mail still in the envelope that is part of our collection demonstrates. The sealed envelope here, with its pictorial register followed by four lines of text providing information about the owner of the seal and the subject of the letter, is typical of the Paleo-Babylonian period.

Inscription on the envelope:

“Two fatted bullocks for the non-cumulative loan of four-year-old cows taken out by Ur-sugalama Akala, governor of Umma. Month of the festival of An; year when the priest of Eridu was invested”

Inscription on the seal:

“O Bur-Sîn, [of the] mighty lands, A-kala, governor of Umma, is your servant”

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