Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > History > 90. Cuneiform Tablet

90.  Cuneiform Tablet. Cone, 11.5 cm. high, 3.8 cm. diameter. Ur, Southern Babylonia, ca. 2060 BCE. RBML, Cuneiform Collection

This cone was found prior to 1937 in what is now Southern Iraq in the archeological site of Ur of the Chaldees, the birthplace of Abraham. It was built into a temple wall with similar cones, serving a purpose similar to our modern corner stone. The inscription, dating from the reign of King Libit-Ishtar, just prior to the time of Abraham, is one of the best examples yet discovered of writing dating from that period, and confirms the existence of some of the cities mentioned in the Book of Genesis, once doubted, including Erech, Isin, Sumer and Akkad.

Gift of Frances Henne, 1973

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