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Home > Auctions > 21st February 2023 > Large Babylonian Cuneiform Tablet Fragment Concerning the Study of the Sacrificial Liver

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LOT 0175

Estimate
GBP (£) 800 - 1,000
EUR (€) 900 - 1,130
USD ($) 990 - 1,230

Bid History: 5   |   Current bid: £1,200 (+bp*)

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Bid History: 5   |   Current bid: £1,200
LARGE BABYLONIAN CUNEIFORM TABLET FRAGMENT CONCERNING THE STUDY OF THE SACRIFICIAL LIVER
LATE 2ND MILLENNIUM B.C.
6 1/8 in. (533 grams, 15.6 cm wide).

A large clay tablet fragment bearing panels of cuneiform text to the principal face, separated by plain parallel lines; remains of cuneiform text to the reverse; a Babylonian treatise concerning the study of the liver of a sacrificial lamb; repaired.

PROVENANCE:
Specialised collection of cuneiform texts, the property of a London gentleman and housed in London before 1992.
Thence by descent to family members.
Examined by Professor Wilfrid George Lambert FBA (1926-2011), historian, archaeologist, and specialist in Assyriology and Near Eastern archaeology, in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The collection is exceptional for the variety of types, including some very rare and well preserved examples.

FOOTNOTES:
The prophetic practise of hepatoscopy, was called in Akkadian barûtu, the art of divination. It is a collection of omens in standard Akkadian (including many sumerograms) each composed of a protasis (description of the configuration of the organ at the time of observation by the diviner) followed by the apodosis giving the omen itself. The fragment preserves the beginning of the treaty on the face and the end on the reverse. Among the various omens is a so-called historical one concerning King Sargon of Akkad (ca. 2350 BCE). A colophon indicates that the text is a copy of an ancient original. The name of the scribe is Mudammiq-Adad. His work was verified by Ur-Nintinuga, a Sumerian name from the Cassite period.

CONDITION