Ancient Mesopotamian and Sumerian Cuneiform Tablets For Sale
Old Babylonian and Ur III (c. 2150 -- 1700 BC)

Sumerian and Mesopotamian artifacts are quite rare, and prized on the collector market. Because of this, countless destructive archaeological atrocities have been committed, including the pillaging of museums and looting of archaeological sites throughout the Middle East. This destruction must stop, and I hope that all of those ill-gotten artifacts find their way back to where they belong. Every single item I offer for sale here has been painstakingly authenticated and the legal origin of their source determined. These come from old private collections, museum deaccessions, and auctions with proven legal ownership outside their country of origin prior to 1970 and the UNESCO treaty. Enjoy!


SPECIAL!
A fantastic small collection of cuneiform tablets from the collection of Ernest Freemark (1882-1966), collected between 1913 and 1915; ex-R. Knickerbocker collection, New York, by descent (the famous Knickerbocker family of New York). Each comes with a full copy of the envelope, letter, and identifications provided. This includes: Letter from the University of Michigan, dated April 29, 1952, from George G. Cameron, Chairman, Department of Near Eastern Studies. "Cuneiform Documents in the possession of E.C. Freemark, Elmore, Ohio." "The tablets were all rebaked and translated by Albrecht Goetze of Yale University"


Sumerian, Ur Dynasty, about 2118 BC. Record of animals expended for sacrifices. "1 female donkey, grain fed, 1 male goat (for) Enlil, 1 female donkey […..], 1 […..] calf (for) Ninlel, in […..]. Reverse: At royal expense, 26th day, were expended by Duggali. Through Dada, the sar-ra-ab-du-official, and Dugga, the oeconomus. Month 9, year Amar-Suen 5. Light pink color, nice, fine cuneiform characters covereing both sides and two edges. Measures 45x38x17 mm (1 3/4" x 1 3/8" x 3/8" thick). Freemark reference #3 with his numbered tag inked on edge. ex-Ernest Freemark collection formed 1913-1915; ex-R. Knickerbocker collection, NY. #AP2062: $950

Sumerian, Ur Dynasty, from Drehem. c. 2117 BC. Record concerning sheep. "1 gukkal sheep, 1 alum sheep, on the 25th day from Abba-shagga. Reverse: Uta-misaram took over, Month 3, year Amar-Suen 6. Measures 29x29x13mm (1 1/8" x 1 1/8" x 1/2"). Deep-cut cuneiform inscriptions on both sides and one edge. Freemark reference #5 with his numbered tag inked on edge. ex-Ernest Freemark collection formed 1913-1915; ex-R. Knickerbocker collection, NY. #AP2064: $650

Old Babylonian, 1954 BC (Larsa). Record concerning delivery of barley. No month, Year Abi-sare 6. Old Babylonian. Cf. No. 13. Deep-cut cuneiform inscription, "1 gallon 2 quarts of barely delivered by Ili-ennam, … Sealed by Ninurta-…. Year The hiritum canal of Larsa was dug.” Measures 43x32x13 mm (1 3/4" x 1 1/4" x 1/2"). Freemark reference #15 with his numbered tag inked on edge. ex-Ernest Freemark collection formed 1913-1915; ex-R. Knickerbocker collection, NY. #AP2068: $675


Sumerian, Ur Dynasty, about 2140 BC. Record concerning the receipt of […?]. (of") the garden of Shulgi-insina / From Sharakam / (as) delivery / [Ku]lia [re]ceived. Reverse: [lost]. Measures 38x30mm (1 1/2" x 1 3/16"). Gorgeous color, sharp detail. Freemark reference #2 with his numbered tag inked on edge. ex-Ernest Freemark collection formed 1913-1915; ex-R. Knickerbocker collection, NY. #AP2061: $699

Sumerian, Ur Dynasty, probably from Drehem, about 2120 BC. Record concerning outgoing animals. Date illegible. Measures 40x35x15 mm (1 9/16" x 1 5/16" x 1/2"). Surfaces mostly worn but cuneiform text visible. Freemark reference #4 with his numbered tag inked on edge. This one does not come with an entry in the itemized letter/list but came from the same group. ex-Ernest Freemark collection formed 1913-1915; ex-R. Knickerbocker collection, NY. #AP2063: $299

Sumerian, Ur Dynasty, from Drehem. c. 2121 BC. Record concerning the receipt of men, sheep and goats. "633 various ewes, men, sheep (and) goats". From Naram-ili / Ur-nigin-gar. Rev.: received / Month 1 / Year Shulgi. 48. Excellent surfaces, deep-cut cuneiform inscriptions all around, traces of the fingerprints of the maker still visible on one edge. This is an outstanding and extremely rare example, with full hand-written transcription and translation from 1913 (see at right). Measures 36x35x17 mm (1 3/8" x 1 5/16" x 1/2"). Freemark reference #1 with his numbered tag inked on edge. ex-Ernest Freemark collection formed 1913-1915; ex-R. Knickerbocker collection, NY. #AP2060: $1800

Just in!
Two lovely groups of cuneiform tablets from the collections of Edgar J. Banks and Addis Finney. Edgar J. Banks, Field Director from the Babylonian Expedition from the University of Chicago, American Consul to Bagdad. The collection came with original letters back and forth with Mr. Banks dated 1936 and 1937. Also offered here is a small group of tablets from the
collection of Addis Finney, a chemical engineer from Akron, OH, whose professional career was based in Basil, Switzerland from 1935-1965.


Ancient Sumeria/Mesopotamia. Ur III, c. 2037 - 2029 BC. Gorgeous Ur III Cuneiform tablet with fingerprints of the ancient maker! Neatly incised text recording the delivery of 15 talents of a plant (unin) from Ur-sagpae, delivered via Shakuge. Year: 'the (ceremonial) boat of Enki was fashioned.' = Shu-Suen year 2, c. 2036 BC. The characters perfectly preserved, the tablet with dark coloration likely from a fire. Fingerprints of the ancient maker visible on several sides. W: 1 1/4" (3.3 cm). Chip to one corner, mineral deposits throughout. Ex collection of Addis Finney, a chemical engineer from Akron, OH, whose professional career was based in Basil, Switzerland from 1935-1965. #AP2098: $1200
SOLD

Sumeria/ Mesopotamia. Ur III, c. 2057 BC. Excellent cuneiform tablet. ex-Addis Finney collection. Administrative tablet; account of labor. The tablet records the laborers that were delivered by one official to another. It is dated by only the year, probably to year 38 of King Shulgi of Ur (ca. 2057 BC). (The year name is abbreviated and could refer to seveal different years.) 64 1/2 workers (i.e., mandays of labor) for one day / 5 menials / from Ur-gigir / Lugal-ebansa / received. Year following (the year named:) "The wall was built." 33x31x18 mm (1 5/16" x 1 1/4"). Complete and intact. 6 lines in Sumerian cuneiform, perfectly preserved with dark grey surfaces. Ex collection of Addis Finney, a chemical engineer from Akron, OH, whose professional career was based in Basil, Switzerland from 1935-1965. #AP2080: $1000
SOLD

Sumeria/ Mesopotamia. Ur III, c. 2034 BC. Nice cuneiform tablet. ex-Addis Finney collection. Administrative tablet; account of workers, likely working on reeds or boat towing. Features a nice cylinder-seal impression. The obverse preserves the last sign of five lines, the reverse has the end signs of two names, followed by "Sealed by Abba-gina", and the year name: "The year Simanum was destroyed," year 4 of King Shu-Suen of Ur (c. 2034 BC). The seal impression reads: "Abbagina, scribe, son of Lugalmagure." Much of the obverse and one corner of the reverse is covered in by heavy earthen deposits. Although most of the inscription is hidden, there are a number of related texts involving the same official Abbagina at the same time to indicate that it probably dealt with laborers working on reeds or boat towing. Displays nicely on the one side. Large 48x43 mm (1 7/8" x 1 5/8"). Ex collection of Addis Finney, a chemical engineer from Akron, OH, whose professional career was based in Basil, Switzerland from 1935-1965. #AP2078: $650
SOLD


Nice cuneiform tablet from the Edgar Banks collection. Edgar Banks’ letter dated May 2, 1936 attributes the tablet as follows:
"No.1. A small clay tablet about the average size of the business documents, and in perfect condition. It was found at Drehem, the suburb of Nippur, where there was a receiving station for the temple of Bel at Nippur. The inscription in the cuneiform language is the receipt for 4 she goats, and 1 milk fed lamb, killed for market and delivered on the 26th day of the month. The tablet is dated in the last lines of the rounded side about 2350 B.C., early in the Ur dynasty of kings who ruled from 24300 to 2100 B.C. Notice on one end of the tablet the finger imprints of the man who made it." Measures 29x25x15 mm (1 1/8" x 1" x 9/16"). Edgar Banks hand-numbered "1" on edge. Multiple rows of crisp cuneiform text. Incredible ancient fingerprints on the edges! #AP2101: 1500
SOLD

Excellent and large cuneiform tablet from the Edgar Banks collection. Edgar Banks’ letter dated May 2, 1936 attributes the tablet as follows: "A typical temple record for the supplies delivered to the temple for its support, found at Jokha, the ruins of the ancient city of Umma. It records the receipt of large quantities of provisions. After the tablet was written, and while the clay was still soft, the temple scribe rolled over the entire tablet with his cylinder stone seal and the seal impression made it impossible to change the record. The seal impression bears in different places the seated figure of the moon-god Sin of Ur of the Chaldees, and in raised characters an inscription of several lines giving the name of the scribe, of his father, and the name of a king of Ur whom he served as a scribe. The tablet is dated in the two last lines about 2300 B.C.". Measures 37x37x13 mm (1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 1/2"). Gorgeous piece with crisp cuneiform characters all over, impressions from ancient cylinder seals still visible. Edgar Banks hand-numbered "3" on edge. #AP2102: $1500 SOLD

Gorgeous and large cuneiform tablet from the Edgar Banks collection. Dating and translations to come... the letters that accompanied this collection are on original typewritten sheets that are in terrible condition. I have scans of them available to anyone interested. I am doing my best to dig through and match the attributions to the various tablets. Edgar Banks’ letter dated February 28, 1945 seems to indicate this one as being from Jokha, the city of Umma, from about 2350 BC. This one measures 41x39x14 mm (1 9/16" x 1 1/2" x 1/2"). Lovely piece with nice cuneiform characters all over, impressions from ancient cylinder seals still visible. Edgar Banks hand-numbered "5" on edge.
#AP2103: $1500.
SOLD




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Sumeria/Mesopotamia, c. 2nd Millennium BC. Large terracotta fragment with cuneiform text. The incised characters neatly laced within five vertical columns. Measures 3 1/2" x 2 1/2", 1 1/2" thick! Very neat piece. ex-Sue McGovern, Sands of Time; Ex Paul Ilton collection, acquired prior to 1950. #AP2055: $475 SOLD