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House Hunters: Babylon, 1300 BCE
Buying and owning real estate is exciting yet nerve-racking. What was purchasing property like for ancient Babylonians living 3,000 years ago? House sale contracts from that time show that the Babylonians shared some of our concerns—sellers cared about whether buyers paid in cash or credit, and buyers were sensitive to location, neighbors, and the history of ownership. And, after a successful purchase, ancient Babylonians took steps—sometimes violent—to protect their property from litigation. In addition to investigating these contracts, this talk explores the fascinating history of the cuneiform tablets on which they were recorded. A treasure trove of information, these tablets—all of them still unpublished—went on an adventurous journey through the political turmoil of the 20th century following their discovery in 1909. Tracing the voyage these tablets made before finding their way to collections in Europe and Asia illuminates our understanding of the ancient Near East.

Feb 10, 2021 06:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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