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The Liver Tablet

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The Liver Tablet
  • Description

    Clay tablet; complete; inscribed model of a sheep's liver probably used for instructing pupils; each box describes the implications of a blemish appearing at that position; complete; 55 sections; Old Babylonian.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1900BC-1600BC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 14.6 centimetres
    • Width: 14.6 centimetres
    • Length: 5.25 inches
    • Width: 3.25 inches
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

  • Curator's comments

    When the tablet was baked by C. A. Bateman in 1970, the 19th century plaster restorations on the upper right side were removed. The object was sent for moulding by Mr Langhorn in the Cast Shop from 16 March-5 April 1971 and again by Mr David Giles from 28 October 1981 and 19 April 1982 (WAA, 'Objects to Lab' book). The cast is listed as available in the British Museum Facsimile Service 'Catalogue of Replicas from British Museum collections' (n.d.), in the series "Monuments of Early Kings".
    Published: Boissier, Note sur un monument babyl. se rapportant a l’extispicine. Geneva 1899; cf. Choix I p. 73.
    BM Guide 1922 pp. 111, 119-120
    BM Guide 1908 pp. 163, 173-74
    BM Guide 1900 pp. 141, 152
    Budge, By Nile and Tigris II pp. 124ff and fig
    Pritchard, ANEP p. 594
    L’art de la Mesopotamie p. 238
    Nougayrol, RA 38 (1941) pp. 77ff
    JEOL 18 p. 324 and fig
    RA 62 p. 31


  • Bibliography

    • Leichty E et al 1988a p.177 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G56/dc22

  • Exhibition history


    1999 14 Nov-2000 20 Feb, Switzerland, Zurich, The Museum Rietberg, Oracle – Looking into the Future

    Babylonian Room, table-case E

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    This collection was acquired as a result of Budge's third mission to Mesopotamia in 1889. For bibliographic references relating to the acquisition of this collection, see p.xviii-xix of index in Leichty catalogue.

  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


COMPASS Title: Clay model of a sheep's liver


COMPASS Title: Clay model of a sheep's liver

Image description



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Object reference number: WCT31381

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