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Science / Medicine

Developments in Brief : Story of Assyrians' Rise to Power Unfolds on Ancient Marble Tablet

June 07, 1987|Times staff and wire service reports

Iraqi archeologists have uncovered a 2,900-year-old tablet at the temple of Nabu, god of science in ancient Iraq, that traces the Assyrian rise to power in the ancient world. The official Iraqi News Agency said the temple is located about 25 miles south of the city of Mosul in northern Iraq.

The tablet was found in two large pieces, about two yards apart, by a team of Iraqi restorers, according to the news agency. It said the 99 lines of the text on the ancient marble tablet are easy to read because "every cuneiform character has marvelously weathered the ravages of time." Cuneiforms are wedge-shaped characters used in Assyrian inscriptions.

In addition to the marble tablet, fragments of clay tablets, prisms and cylindrical seals were also found. At its height, the Assyrian empire stretched from the Tigris River in present-day Iraq to the Persian Gulf, Egypt and Asia Minor.

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