Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Archaeology Series #25: The Jeremiah Tablet


Nebo-Sarsekim Tablet also called the Jeremiah tablet is a clay cuneiform inscription (2.13 inches; 5.5 cm) in the collection of the British Museum dated to circa 595 BC, referring to an official at the court of Nebuchadrezzar II, king of Babylon.

Archaeologists unearthed the tablet in the ancient city of Sippar (about a mile from modern Baghdad) in the 1870s. The museum acquired it in 1920, but it had remained in storage unpublished until Michael Jursa (associate professor at the University of Vienna) made the discovery in 2007 with the following translation of the inscription:

[Regarding] 1.5 minas (0.75 kg) of gold, the property of Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, the chief eunuch, which he sent via Arad-Banitu the eunuch to [the temple] Esangila: Arad-Banitu has delivered [it] to Esangila. In the presence of Bel-usat, son of Alpaya, the royal bodyguard, [and of] Nadin, son of Marduk-zer-ibni. Month XI, day 18, year 10 [of] Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.
Jeremiah 39:3

And all the princes of the king of Babylon proceeded to come in and sit down in the Middle Gate, [namely,] Ner´gal-shar·e´zer, Sam´gar, ne´bo Sar´se·chim, Rab´sa·ris, Ner´gal-shar·e´zer the Rab´mag and all the rest of the princes of the king of Babylon.

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