Cuneiform Tablets

Babylonian administrative documents (cuneiform tablets) confirm that Jehoiachin

Babylonian administrative documents, sixth century B.C.E., Pergamon Museum, Berlin.

This cuneiform tablet was discovered during the same excavations by Robert Koldewey that revealed the Ishtar Gate between 1899 and 1917. This and similar administrative documents were found in a barrel-vaulted underground room near the gate. This tablet, dated to the sixth century B.C.E., describes the rations afforded to a royal captive thought to be Jehoiachin, king of Judah, after his release from prison by Nebuchadnezzar (see 2Kgs 25:27-30). The Babylonian king had a substantial royal archive of records like this one, all written on clay in cuneiform, one of the earliest known systems of writing, identified by the wedge-shaped marks made by a blunt stylus.