A Sumerian Cuneiform Sealed Envelope with Tablet, ca. 2199—2119 BCE
A Sumerian Cuneiform Sealed Envelope with Tablet, ca. 2199—2119 BCE
A Sumerian Cuneiform Sealed Envelope with Tablet, ca. 2199—2119 BCE

A Sumerian Cuneiform Sealed Envelope with Tablet, ca. 2199—2119 BCE

MT2101

Regular price$7,500 USD
/
  • This object qualifies for free and fast worldwide shipping.

This fine ancient Mesopotamian clay envelope still has the original clay tablet sealed inside. Few envelopes survive, since the act of opening them meant breaking them apart and the broken pieces would then be discarded.  The purpose of envelope tablets was security. The document was written in duplicate: once on the tablet, once on the enclosing envelope.  Therefore, the document could be read from the envelope, but should any dispute arise, the document inside would be binding.

On this example, however, the original text is completely obscured on the exterior by a seal roll showing a human figure standing in front of an enthroned king with text behind him.  The seal was used to roll all six sides of the envelope but inscribed over the rolls on one side are three lines of text that read:

sealed by Gu2-TAR-la2, PA NI NI, /x-x/ [x].”   

Gutarla is a well-attested name and the element –arla in the name is typical of Gutian names helping to date this piece to around the Gutian Dynasty (ca. 2199—2119 BCE) that ended by the accession of Ur-Nammu, founder of the Third Dynasty of Ur.

Condition:  The envelope is intact and in excellent condition overall.

Dimensions: 1 3.4 x 1 3/4 inches (4.4 cm)

Provenance: Private NYC collection, by descent from Frishman Galleries, Tel Aviv, acquired 1970s, thereafter private Virginia collection, acquired from the NY trade.

We ship Tuesday to Friday with FedEx and usually same day if your order is received before 2pm. Within the continental USA, packing, shipping and insurance is free. Depending on size and destination, delivery times range from one to five business days.

If we are shipping this object to you overseas, there is no charge for packing, preparation of all customs paperwork, insurance and carrier fees in compliance with all USA and International customs requirements.

We send overseas shipments with FedEx International Priority which usually means two to three day delivery to Europe and the UK, customs willing but contact us if you have a shipping preference. 

Please note: International customers are responsible for all duties and taxes. 

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

You may also like...