In these pages, the Vorderasiatisches Museum (VAM), Berlin, and the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI) are privileged to present online data sets documenting the largest cuneiform collection in Germany. The Chief Curator of the VAM cuneiform collection, Joachim Marzahn, collaborated with current and past members of the CDLI to produce, in a project made possible by generous support of the Free University of Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, the catalogue, images and transliterations of what must be considered one of the most significant such collections on earth. Within the framework of an agreement of cooperation signed in 1998 by the umbrella organization Staatliche Museen zu Berlin–Preußischer Kulturbesitz and the CDLI, all cuneiform tablets of the 3rd and 4rd millennia BC in the VAM collection were digitized, following procedures discussed in the methods pages of the CDLI. Catalogues and transliterations have been completed for the Late Uruk, the Early Dynastic IIIb and the Ur III periods (ca. 3350-2000 BC), constituting a nearly complete coverage of the early collection that encompasses over 6000 documents. A full inventory of the collection is currently in preparation.


About the project
Introduction to the collection
VAM homepage


Tablets by period:

   Late Uruk V (ca. 3500-3350 BC)
   Late Uruk IV (ca. 3350-3200 BC)
   Late Uruk III (ca. 3200-3000 BC)
   Early Dynastic I-II (ca. 2800-2700 BC)
   Early Dynastic IIIa (ca. 2600-2500 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)
   Old Babylonian (ca. 2000-1600 BC)
   Middle Babylonian (ca. 1500-1000 BC)
   Middle Assyrian (ca. 1300-1000 BC)
   Hittite (ca. 1200-1000 BC)
   Neo-Assyrian (ca. 1000-600 BC)
   Neo-Babylonian (ca. 1000-540 BC)
   Achaemenid (ca. 540-330 BC)
   Hellenistic (ca. 330-140 BC)

Tablets by text genre:

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

Search all CDLI inscriptions

The tablet to the right (VAT 7042) contains an account of forestry laborers who were active in the province of Umma during the Ur III empire (ca. 2100-2000 BC). Originally published by Nicholas Schneider in 1930, the text has, since 1968, aroused renewed interest among specialists of 3rd millennium Mesopotamia (click image to be directed to the text’s corresponding CDLI page).


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