Professor R.H. Powell
Your letter of April 17 relative to
the Babylonian tablets is at hand. I have selected ten of the tablets, those
showing the different types and sizes, and representing the different periods
od [sic] history from which the tablets are available, and am sending them to
you by parcel post. Most of the tablets
are in a perfect condition. The sun
dried tablets are seldom well preserved.
I have tried to form a little collection complete in itself. Enclosed is a description of the tablets, and
my guarantee that they are genuine. Will
you kindly examine them, and should you not care to keep them all, select those
that you desire, and return the others to me as early as convenient? Since the British have occupied
Hoping that they may reach you in good condition, and that you may find them of interest, I am,
Edgar J. Banks
A Description of ten ancient Babylonian inscribed clay tablets, described by Edgar J. Banks, Alpine, N.J.
No. 1. $5.00.
Found at Jokha, the ruin of the ancient city of
No. 2. $5.00. Found at Drehem, a suburb of
No. 3. $4.00. Found at Jokha. A receipt for 3 lambs and 17 kid goats, delivered on the 29th day of the month. On one edge is the numeral 30, the total number of the animals. The date is on the back about 2350 B.C.
No. 4. $3.00. Found at Drehem. A butcher’s bill for 1 she goat and 2 goats, killed for market, and delivered on the 26th day of the month. Dated about 2350 B.C.
No. 5. $5.00. Found at Jokha. A very rare messenger tablet with a list of provisions supplied to the temple messenger for the journey, as bread, dates, oil, wine, etc. It was his expense allowance. The messenger tablets are very highly valued, for the writing upon them is finer and better than upon tablets of any other type. The date is along one edge, about 2350 B.C.
No. 6. $4.00. Found at Jokha. This is a typical record of the temple offerings. After the tablet was written, and while the clay was still soft, the temple scribed rolled over the entire tablet his cylindrical stone seal, and the seal impression made it impossible to change the record. The seal impression bears the name of the scribe and of his father in raised characters, the seated figure of a deity and the standing figures of priests. The date is about 2350 B.C.
No. 7. $5.00. Found at Drehem. A temple record, sealed and dated about 2350 B.C.
No. 8. $3.00. Found at Jokha. A temple record, sealed and dated about 2350 B.C.
No. 9. $3.00. Found at Senkereh, the Biblical Elassar mentioned in Genesis 14:1. This is a sun dried first dyhasty [sic] tablet or business contract, from the age of Hammurabi, King of Babylon about 2200 B.C. He was the Hammurabi of the Bible, a contemporary of Abraham. This tablet is rare. Few tablets from this dynasty are well preserved.
No. 10. $3.00. Found at
I guarantee each of the ten tablets described above to be genuine ancient Babylonian tablets.
Edgar J. Banks