Charles University in Prague is home to one of Europe’s most significant collections of Old Assyrian texts. Of the 438 text artifacts in the collection, 416 derive from this early second millennium BC phase of Mesopotomian history, characterized by a highly organized—and documented—expansion of Assyrian trade into the heart of a thriving Anatolian civilization. The remaining texts are from the Ur III period and date to the last century of the 3rd millennium. The images and text presented in the following pages represent a successful merging of electronic transliterations compiled by members of the Old Assyrian Text Project on the one hand, and on the other of high-resolution digital images of the texts prepared by the very professional staff of Petr Zemánek, Director of Charles’ Institute of Comparative Linguistics. CDLI’s cooperation with Charles University was coordinated by Luděk Vacín of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, and is under the scientific direction of Cécile Michel of CNRS, Paris.

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Tablets by period:

   Ur III period (ca. 2100-2000 BC)
   Old Assyrian (ca. 1950-1850 BC)

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The cuneiform tablet to the right (collection number I 458) contains a contract of the loan of silver by an Assyrian trader to an Anatolian, based on a monthly interest payment of 2 shekels on a capitol loan of 45 shekels—amounting to a yearly rate of approximately 50% (such loans between two Assyrians were limited to 30% interest per year). The transaction is recorded with two witnesses, who in turn applied their seals to the clay envelope in which the tablet was placed (click on the image to be directed to the document’s corresponding CDLI page).













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