Stone plaque

Accession Number
Current Location
House of Life (first floor), Maths and writing case, Writing
Object Type
Architecture, Architectural decoration, Plaque
Height: 200mm | Width: 180mm
Number of Elements

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This cuneiform inscription is written in Babylonian for Nebuchadrezzar II, on (marble?) stone. It is cracked. It reads: "Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, provider for Esagila and Esida, eldest son of Nebopolassar, King of Babylon am I". Esagil and Ezida were the temple complexes of Babylonia and neighbouring Borsippa. The same inscription can be seen on many of the thousands of bricks found at Babylon (now southern Iraq) which was excavated in the nineteenth century and upon stone slabs also used in building projects. King Nebuchadnezzar used such bricks in his official building projects. The piece is set in plaster. On the back of the plaster is written 'Encased by J.J. Sexton, London A.D. 1885/ Victoria Queen'. Babylon is described by the Greek Historian Herodotus in about 485-425 BC. At the writer Berosus credits Nebuchadnezzar with the building of the ‘Hanging Gardens’ for his homesick Iranian wife. Nebuchadnezzar ruled from 605 to 562 BCE. The script on this is cuneiform which was used to write a number of different languages. ‘Cuneiform’ means wedge-shaped. Different versions of the script were used at different times. This was purchased by Wellcome from auction in 1935.


Last modified: 22 Mar 2021

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