NEW YORK — Archeologists have discovered a large collection of 3,700-year-old Mesopotamian clay tablets that describe the capture and ransom of spies by rival city-states, the early use of horses in battle and the allocation of the royal wine supply.
The discovery of the 1,100 cuneiform tablets and seal impressions was reported Monday at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Archeologists by Harvey Weiss of Yale University.
The tablets were inscribed in northern Mesopotamia between about 1740 BC to 1725 BC, roughly the time when King Hammurabi was issuing his famous code of laws in the city-state of Babylon, in southern Mesopotamia, Weiss said.
The tablets are written in the old Babylonian dialect of the Akkadian language.
Weiss and his colleagues found about 1,100 tablets and seal impressions in a palace at Tell Leilan, in northeastern Syria near the Turkish and Iraqi borders.