In these pages, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology of the University of Pennsylvania and the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI), an international research project based at the University of California, Los Angeles, present a database of the inscribed objects in the Philadelphia collection. In an initial phase of this collaboration funded by a grant from by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and directed by Stephen J. Tinney, Professor of Assyriology at Penn’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Penn staff digitized the Nippur and Ur collections of the museum, in subsequent phases the remainder of the holdings, particularly a stunningly rich trove of royal inscriptions.

Introduction to the collection
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View the Nippur Collection

Penn tablets by period:

   Proto-Elamite (ca. 3100-2900 BC)
   Early Dynastic I-II (ca. 2900-2700 BC)
   Early Dynastic IIIa (ca. 2600 BC)
   Early Dynastic IIIb (ca. 2500-2350 BC)
   Old Akkadian (ca. 2350-2200 BC)
   Lagash II (ca. 2200-2100 BC)
   Ur III period (ca. 2100-2000 BC)
   Old Assyrian (ca. 2000-1900 BC)
   Early Old Babylonian (ca. 2000-1800 BC)
   Old Babylonian (ca. 1800-1600 BC)
   Middle Babylonian (ca. 1500-1000 BC)
   Middle Assyrian (ca. 1500-1000 BC)
   Neo-Assyrian (ca. 1000-600 BC)
   Neo-Babylonian (ca. 1000-540 BC)
   Achaemenid (ca. 540-330 BC)
   Hellenistic (ca. 330-140 BC)
   Uncertain date

Penn tablets by provenience (only major sites):

   Abu Hatab
   Tell Billa

Penn tablets by text genre:

   Administrative texts
   Legal texts
   Literary texts
   Lexical texts
   Mathematical texts
   School texts
   Scientific texts
   Royal/Monumental texts

Search all CDLI inscriptions

The artifact above (CBS 14938) appears to be the base of an exquisitely crafted soapstone goblet. The priestess En-nirĝal-ana dedicates the object to the goddess Ningal, who is entreated to intercede for the well-being of Ur-Namma, the founder of the Ur III Dynasty and her (En-nirĝal-ana’s) father (ca. 2112-2095 BC, middle chronology; click image to be directed to the artifact’s corresponding CDLI page, and click here for a text witness overview, and translation of the composition).

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A cooperative effort of the Museum of Archaeology and
and the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative