In these pages, the National Museums Scotland and the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI), an international research project based at the University of California, Los Angeles, present a database of 247 inscribed objects in the NMS collection. The texts were imaged by flat-bed scanning; a number of which were imaged wih conventional photography using High Dynamic Range technology. For the Neo-Assyrian reliefs and a couple of chosen cuneiform tablets Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) was used. Corresponding image files deriving from this procedure are now being prepared in Oxford for web presention. The imaging in Edinburgh was undertaken by Kathreen Kelley and Klaus Wagensonner (University of Oxford); post-capture processing was done by Klaus Wagensonner. The digitization was made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; they are part of the on-going mission of CDLI to ensure the long-term digital preservation of ancient inscriptions on cuneiform artifacts, and, in furtherance of humanities research, to provide free global access to all available text data.

Introduction to the collection
NMS homepage


Tablets by period:

   Early Dynastic (ca. 2800-2350 BC)
   Old Akkadian (ca. 2350-2200 BC)
   Lagash II (ca. 2200-2100 BC)
   Ur III period (ca. 2100-2000 BC)
   Old Assyrian (ca. 1950-1850 BC)
   Old Babylonian (ca. 2000-1600 BC)
   Neo-Assyrian (ca. 911-612 BC)
   Neo-Babylonian (ca. 626-539 BC)

Tablets by text genre:

   Administrative texts
   Legal texts
   Royal/Monumental texts

Tablets by provenience:


Search all CDLI inscriptions

The National Museums Scotland tablet to the right (Geller, Fs Wilcke [2003], 130-131) dates to the Old Babylonian period and contains an incantation against the “Evil Eye”. Its first part describes the symptoms and implications of the affected person, which have a parallel in AO 8895. Whereas the latter gives more symptoms and concludes with a spell against the Evil Eye, the manuscript in Edinburgh follows the usual structure of incantations and continues with Enki’s son seeking advice. The text finally describes a cure for the disease, which includes preparing a substance and binding it on the patient’s neck. (click on the image to be directed to the text’s corresponding CDLI page).

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, and the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative