Ashmolean Museum inv. 1937. 993. Photo: P. R. S. Moorey, Ancient Iraq (Assyria and Babylonia) (Oxford, 1976) 47, plate XXX (reverse only). Cf. Plate IX (enlarged). An originally unbaked clay tablet: W., 8·2 cm, h., 6 cm, th., 1·4 cm (maximum).
The tablet was in the possession of Stephen Langdon and came to the Ashmolean as part of Langdon's bequest. No Kish excavation inventory number is scratched on the edges as on material from Kish. There is no reason therefore to assume Kish as the provenance. No exact provenance is in fact available for the tablet. The tablet is inscribed in Greek script on both sides. It was referred to but not published by Sollberger in his important collection of the fourteen known fragments of Babylonian texts in the Greek alphabet, the “Graeco-Babyloniaca” texts. To this collection can now be added the Harvard tablet, which contains part of an incantation inscribed in cuneiform on the obverse and Greek script on the reverse.
The Ashmolean tablet differs physically from these in two respects, (a) Size. It is considerably smaller in all dimensions than the other tablets in the British Museum with Greek script which Pinches estimated to have been about 5 in wide by 9 in high when complete. Their thickness is also greater at 2–3 cm. (b) Oblong shape. Apart from tiny chips the other fragments (including the Harvard text) are from tablets which had the usual shape of Babylonian tablets, height greater than breadth. It is like the other tablets in being unbaked. The size and shape of the Ashmolean tablet are, however, typical for Seleucid period cuneiform business documents.