The Kuyunjik temples

Library-type tablets were found in two temples on the mound of Kuyunjik: the temples of Ishtar and of Nabu.

Ishtar temple

The Ishtar temple yielded tablets dating from the Uruk to the Old Babylonian period. Here – or nearby -- were found also the Tukulti-Ninurta Epic and other Middle Assyrian literary tablets. The temple library and records were largely dispersed by later activity, but some DT and Sm probably came from here. A temple loan dated c.632 was also found here (K 318).

Nabu temple

The archives are thought to have begun with the founding of the temple by Adad-nirari III. The temple sits close to the south corner of the North Palace. Some of the tablets found by Smith in 1873-74 may come from here. Others were found in the ruins, including some from the 1905-4-9 collection and those listed in Lambert and Millard (1968) pp. 91-92. Thompson (1934) p. 104 noted that some contained script pre-dating Ashurbanipal. At least two (BM 121034, 121045) have different clay from standard K tablets. The archives also contained tablets donated by Ashurbanipal himself, as evidenced by the colophons (see Hunger (1968) nos. 105-107).

Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan Taylor, 'The Kuyunjik temples', Ashurbanipal Library Project, The Ashurbanipal Library Project, Department of the Middle East, The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG, 2022 []

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