The United States has returned approximately 3,800 Iraqi artifacts to the Republic of Iraq at a repatriation ceremony at the residence of the Republic of Iraq’s Ambassador to the United States in Washington, D.C.
The artifacts include many tablets from the ancient city of Irisagrig, primarily from the Ur III and Old Babylonian period, are mostly legal and administrative documents, but also include a collection of Early Dynastic incantations and a bilingual religious text from the Neo-Babylonian period. Images
The Repatriated Antiquities
The antiquities being repatriated consist of approximately:
- 450 cuneiform tablets
- 3,000 clay bullae
- 371 cylinder seals
- Cuneiform is an ancient system of writing on clay tablets that was used in ancient Mesopotamia thousands of years ago. The names of people, places and months used on a number of the cuneiform tablets confirm that they originated in the area of modern-day Iraq. Clay bullae are balls of clay on which seals have been imprinted. Cylinder seals are small engraved stone cylinders. When rolled on wet clay, they create raised images in the clay that