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  • Elaine Luedtke

    Babylonian grammatical text stone tablet used in the research and assembly of a 21-volume dictionary of the language of ancient Mesopotamia and its Babylonian and Assyrian dialects. Unspoken for 2,000 years but preserved on clay tablets and in stone inscriptions deciphered over the last two centuries. Dictionary finally completed by scholars at the University of Chicago.

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Newly found tablet in a previously unknown language lists the names of women (who were not Assyrians) as workers to the Ziyaret Tepe palace in the ancient Assyrian city of Tušhan over 2500 years ago. Their names were inscribed in cuneiform characters on the clay tablet shown above, which was baked in an accidental fire at the governor's palace around 700 BC.

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Cuneiform cylinder: Ehulhul inscription of Nabonidus describing his work on three temples; Neo-Babylonian; ca 555 - 539 BC; Mesopotamia, probably from Babylon or Sippar; clay - Metropolitan Museum of Art

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