Cuneiform Brick

About this object

History of use

Broken brick from Mesopotamia with a royal inscription of King Amar-Suen of the Third Dynasty of Ur (2112-2004 B.C.). The inscription is the same as that on M4.29, but is only partially preserved (see M4.29 for inscription translation). It records the building of the temple of the god Enki in the city of Eridu in southern Mesopotamia. Bricks like this were intended to glorify the king, and to preserve for posterity the memory of the builder. Most of the buildings in ancient Mesopotamia were constructed out of mud brick, and inevitably, they would need repair and reconstruction. The use of stamped bricks and other types of markers such as clay cones was intended to preserve for subsequent generations the name of the pious king who had originally built or rebuilt the temple.


Collected by H. V. S. Page.

Physical description

Fragment of a square brick made of yellowish clay. Incised with a rectangular panel of cuneiform on the front and one of the sides. The back has a large quantity of bitumen adhered to it.