A partially vitrified tablet from Nineveh

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published on 28 March 2014

The age-old vulnerability of libraries in times of warfare applied as ever during the sack of Nineveh. Many tablets were badly smashed, while others probably perished altogether. With some, such as this tablet of lunar omens, severe burning resulted in the partial vitrification of the clay. From the library of king Ashurbanipal II, Nineveh, Mesopotamia, Iraq. Neo-Assyrian era, reign of king Ashurbanipal, 668-627 BCE. (The British Museum, London)



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