Within the framework of an agreement of cooperation between the Louvre Museum and the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI, Los Angeles/Berlin/Oxford), members of the CDLI staff supervised by Jacob Dahl (Oxford) were given direct access to the cuneiform collection of the Museum in February of 2013. With the active support of Beatrice André-Salvini, Head of the Department of Oriental Antiquities, and her staff, we have begun to scan the collection following procedures discussed in the methods pages of the CDLI, now expanded to include Reflectance Transformation Imaging domes used in the capture of subtle seal impressions. The Louvre and the CDLI are pleased to present in the following pages the new results that are part of a larger online project documenting all accessible cuneiform collections in public and private hands in France.


Introduction to the collection
Louvre homepage


All Louvre inscriptions
sorted by museum number

All Louvre inscriptions
sorted by publication

Tablets by period:

   Pre-writing (ca. 8500-3500 BC)
   Late Uruk (ca. 3500-3000 BC)
   proto-Elamite (ca. 3100-2900 BC)
   Early Dynastic IIIa (ca. 2600-2500 BC)
   Early Dynastic IIIb (ca. 2500-2350 BC)
   Old Akkadian (ca. 2350-2200 BC)
   Linear Elamite (ca. 2200 BC)
   Lagash II period (ca. 2200-2100 BC)
   Ur III period (ca. 2100-2000 BC)
   Early Old Babylonian (ca. 2000-1900 BC)
   Old Assyrian (ca. 1950-1850 BC)
   Old Babylonian (ca. 1900-1600 BC)
   Middle Babylonian (ca. 1400-1100 BC)
   Middle Assyrian (ca. 1400-1000 BC)
   Neo-Assyrian (ca. 911-612 BC)
   Neo-Babylonian (ca. 626-539 BC)
   Achaemenid (547-331 BC)
   Hellenistic (323-63 BC)

By provenience:

   Amarna    Assur    Boghazkoy    Borsippa    Diqdiqqah    Drehem    Eshnunna    Fara    Girsu    Jemdet Nasr    Kish    Kültepe    Larsa    Mari    Nimrud    Nippur    Sialk    Susa    Terqa    Tuz Hurmat    Ugarit    Umma    Ur    Uruk    unclear

By text genre:

   Administrative texts    Literary texts    Omina    Prayers/Incantations    Lexical texts    Mathematical texts    School texts    Scientific texts    Letters    Royal/Monumental texts

By type:

   bricks    cones    seals
   tags    stone inscriptions    metal inscriptions    other

Search all CDLI inscriptions

The artifact above (AO 5499) depicted under the project’s RTI dome is one of the most remarkable documents in the collection of Louvre’s Department of Oriental Antiquities. The six-column tablet contains a theoretical exercise documenting the potential growth and income, in dairy products, of a herd of cattle over a period of the last ten years of the Ur III king Šulgi (ca. 2050-2040 BC). A graphic describes how, in the mind of an ambitious ancient investor, a herd of four serviced milk cows valued at ca. thirty shekels of silver (that is equivalent to about thirty months of unskilled labor) grew to encompass thirty-two head of cattle producing, over the ten years, surplus milk for the owner, together valued at some 220 shekels—a sevenfold increase (click on the image to be directed to the text’s corresponding CDLI page with full translations in English and French).

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A cooperative effort of the Louvre Museum,
and the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative