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Caillou Michaux

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Caillou Michaux
  • Description

    Plaster cast of a boundary-stone ('kudurru'); coloured; mounted on stone base.

  • Culture/period

  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 40 centimetres
    • Width: 22 centimetres
    • Thickness: 14 centimetres
    • Height: 49 centimetres (with stone base)
    • Width: 27.5 centimetres (with stone base)
    • Thickness: 18 centimetres (with stone base)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Comment

        Records transaction dealing with a piece of land.
  • Curator's comments

    The original object is in the Louvre and is popularly known in French as "le Caillou Michaux" after the name of its finder, the botanist A. Michaux. The cast is inscribed "Cast of a boundary stone inscribed with a deed recording the gift of a dowry consisting of certain property situated near the city of Kar-Nabu, to Dur-Sharginaiti by her father Tsir-Utsur, about B.C. 1100. Presented by the Museum of the Louvre, 1858."
    A filed letter from one M.S. Chambers refers to it as the “Michaux stone” or “Caillon de Michaux” and mistakenly refers to it having been brought from Persepolis in AD 220 by Marcus Aurelius (ANE CORRES 19 July 1935, reply dated 22 June) = pub. in Cuneiform Inscriptions, vol. I, pl. 70.


  • Bibliography

    • Millin 1802a I, p. 59 bibliographic details
    • Hinke W J 1907a I, p. xxi bibliographic details
    • Guide 1922 p.69 bibliographic details
    • Pallis S A 1956a p.77, no.16 bibliographic details
    • Guide 1900a p.89 bibliographic details
    • Evetts B T A 1892a pp.107-10 (drawn illustration on p. 109) bibliographic details
    • Parrot A 1946a pp.17-20, 34, n.15 bibliographic details
    • Bissier pp.21-36 bibliographic details
    • Fox Talbot H 1861a pp.52-76 bibliographic details
    • Peiser F E 1896a pp.78-83 bibliographic details
    • Oppert J & Menant J 1877a pp.85-97 bibliographic details
    • Records of the Past pp.92 ff bibliographic details
    • Rawlinson H C & Norris E 1861a vol.I, pl.70 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history


    Babylonian & Assyrian Room, in wall-cases 9-12 with other boundary-stones (1900 Guide, no.105)

  • Condition


  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    This is a cast of an object found in 1786 in the ruins of a palace and gardens believed to belong to Semiramis, in the area of the Taq-i Kisra (south of Ctesiphon). This description may refer specifically to the ancient walled site known in Arabic as "el Bustan" ("the gardens") and situated on a bend of the river Tigris a few kilometres south of the Taq-i Kisra. The object was discovered by the French botanist André Michaux, who sold to the Louvre where it is popularly known as "le caillou Michaux". It is regarded as the first important Babylonian inscription to enter a European collection although a number of inscribed bricks had already been collected by Pietro della Valle and probably others. This cast was presented by the Musée du Louvre to the British Museum and registered as 1848,1031.3.

  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • 105 (exhibition number number)
    • 1848,1031.3 (original reg of cast at BM)
    • 207 (exhibition number (red))
    • IR 70

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Object reference number: WCO116822

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