Since the majority of cuneiform documents deal with bureaucratic matters, they were often kept together in the form of archives for future reference. They belonged in the main to the large institutions of Mesopotamia, the temple and palace, and detail expenditure and income, personnel, and hours worked by laborers, as well as legal contracts and correspondence. From the third millennium B.C. are examples from Shuruppak, ancient Fara, that date from the 24th century B.C. The tablets date from a single year and detail the economic dealings of a large organization involving some 9,660 donkeys and 1,200 men. From about the same time are the archives of Girsu, the capital of the city-state Lagash, which furnished details about the centralized economy of the city-state. Particularly well known are the palace archives of Mari from the 19th century B.C. They entail the voluminous correspondence between the ruler and his various dependents and allies and thus form one of the main sources for the history of the Middle Euphrates region of the period.
   From the time of the Third Dynasty of Ur, temple archives, especially from Ur and Nippur, as well as from provincial centers such as Puzrish-Dagan, often contained thousands of tablets and reveal the complex workings of these institutions.
   With the Old Babylonian period, private archives belonging to private entrepreneurs begin to appear, alongside rarities such as the records of the “cloister” at Sippar, where unmarried and well-born women lived in seclusion to pray and look after their investments (see NADITU).
   Of great historical importance are the state archives from Assyria, which preserved royal correspondence, especially from the time of the Sargonids (seventh century). They contain letters from scholars and diviners, astrologers and exorcists, as well as those pertaining to the administration of the empire. From the Neo-Babylonianperiod, no comparable records survive, but there are important archives from temples such as that of the sun god at Sippar.
   During the late period of Mesopotamian history, when Babylonia was ruled by the Persians and then the Seleucid kings, the main cuneiform sources come from the archives of large commercial firms, such as the Egibi or the Murashu families, who managed temple land, lent silver, and liaised with the crown. The very last archive collections come from the temple estates of Uruk.

Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. . 2012.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • ARCHIVES — ARCHIVES, (a) a place where old records are collected and preserved in an orderly fashion in their entirety, as well as groups of interrelated documents originating from individuals or a public body ( historical archives ); registers and filing… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ARCHIVES — Les archives sont constituées par l’ensemble des documents qui résultent de l’activité d’une institution ou d’une personne physique ou morale. Ainsi peut on parler des archives de la chancellerie capétienne et de celles d’un ministère actuel,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • archives — ARCHIVES. s. f. pluriel. Anciens titres, charles, et autres papiers importans. Les archives d une grande Maison, d un Monastère, d une Abbaye. Le trésordes archives. Vieilles archives. Feuilleter les archives. [b]f♛/b] Il se dit aussi Du lieu où… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Archives — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Archives Álbum recopilatorio de Rush Publicación Abril de 1978 Grabación 1973 1975 …   Wikipedia Español

  • archives — n. 1. a collection of records especially about an institution. [WordNet 1.5] 2. a place where historical records and documents are kept. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • archives — index depository Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • archives — (n.) c.1600, from Fr. archif (16c.), from L.L. archivum (singular), from Gk. ta arkheia public records, plural of arkheion town hall, from arkhe government, lit. beginning, origin, first place (see ARCHON (Cf. archon)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • archives — [n] place where records are stored athenaeum, library, museum, office, registry, repository, storage, treasury, vault; concept 439 …   New thesaurus

  • Archives — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Archive (homonymie). Archives régionales de l Université Charles Sturt …   Wikipédia en Français

  • archives — Repository for an organized body of records. Archives are produced or received by a public, semipublic, institutional, or business entity in the transaction of its affairs and are preserved by it or its successors. The modern institution of… …   Universalium

  • ARCHIVES — s. f. pl. Anciens titres, chartres, et autres papiers importants. Les archives de la couronne. Les archives du royaume. Les archives d une grande maison, d un monastère, d une abbaye. Le trésor des archives. Vieilles archives. Feuilleter les… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.