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Sumerian and Akkadian Clay Tablets

Over 1,100 items in Sumerian and Akkadian cuneiform scripts.

Most of the Rylands tablets come from the great temples of Drehem and Umma and date from the Ur III dynasty (22nd–21st centuries BCE), but there are also First Babylonian Dynasty fragments (20th–17th centuries BCE) and later Babylonian and Assyrian pieces.

Texts comprise royal inscriptions, letters, economic, administrative and agricultural documents and literary texts.

Notable items include:

  • a rare plan of a Sumerian temple impressed onto a tablet (Sumerian 930)
  • a tablet concerning the conquest of Kish under Agga by Gilgamesh (931)
  • two bricks of Nebuchadnezzar II, commemorating the rebuilding of Ebabbara, the temple of Shamash at Sippar (1092 and 1093)
  • a nail of Enlil-bani, celebrating the building of the stronghold of Isin (1094)
  • two cylinders of Nebuchadnezzar II, recording the rebuilding of temples at Sippar and Marad (1095 and 1096)

Finding aids

  • T. Fish, Catalogue of the Sumerian Tablets in the John Rylands Library (Manchester, 1932).
  • C.L. Bedale, Sumerian Tablets from Umma in the John Rylands Library (Manchester, 1915).
  • Tohru Gomi, 'Ur III Texts in the John Rylands University Library of Manchester', Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, vol. 64 (1981-2), pp. 87-116.
  • Benjamin R. Foster, 'Sargonic and Pre-Sargonic Tablets in the John Rylands University Library', Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, vol. 64 (1981-2), pp. 457-80.
  • Farouk N.H. Al-Rawi, ‘Cuneiform inscriptions in the collections of the John Rylands Library, University of Manchester’, Iraq, vol. 62 (2000), pp. 21–64, which includes a full bibliography.

Location

The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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