Stone Foundation Tablet Sumerian
Stone Foundation Tablet Inscribed With the Name and Titles of King Ur-Namma in Sumerian
Inscribed: Ur-Namma, king of Ur, king of Sumer and Akkad, the one who built the temple of Enlil.
Mesopotamia, Third Dynasty of Ur, Reign of Ur-Namma
21st century B.C.
8.3 x 12.4 cm
MLC no. 2629
The first king of a new dynasty, Ur-Namma was responsible for the restoration of old temples and oversaw the extensive construction of new temples and stepped temple towers known as ziggurats. The tablet was part of the regular foundation deposit of Ur-Namma together with a bronze figure of the king as a basket carrier. Such deposits were meant to record the pious works of the royal builders for the deities to whom the temples were dedicated. Later rulers digging up the foundations of earlier temples— always on the same hallowed ground—would treat the inscriptions of their predecessors with respect.