Bible and archaeology news
4,000 years ago, an official named Aradmu kept economic and social records of agrarian life and the economy near Nippur in southern Iraq. After having been looted from Iraq, smuggled to the United States and stored in the Customs House at 6 World Trade Center when the building was destroyed in the September 11th attacks, Aradmu’s clay tablets defied all odds and survived to be translated. The 302 tablets—145 of which were written by Aradmu—were retrieved, restored, and given to Harvard Professor Benjamin Studevent-Hickman for translation before returning them to Iraq. Aradmu’s writings include receipts, loan records and descriptions of his brothers and his father Lugal-me-a. The records provide a window into ordinary life and the economic conditions of the time (grain loans included whopping 33% interest rates), but the story of the tablets’ recovery and translation is anything but ordinary.
Sign up to receive our email newsletter and never miss an update.