Boundary stone (kudurru)
Babylonian, about 1125-1104 BC
From Sippar, southern Iraq
A legal statement about the freeing of taxes and obligations.
The cuneiform text of this kudurru describes the military services of Ritti-Marduk to King Nebuchadnezzar I (1125-1104 BC) during a campaign in Elam (to the south-east of Mesopotamia) in retaliation for Elamite raids in northern Babylonia. The campaign was carried out in summer and the Babylonian army suffered considerably from the heat and lack of water. Ritti-Marduk, the Captain of the chariots, led the attack against the Elamites.
The text sets out the details of how Nebuchadnezzar rewarded Ritti-Marduk by freeing the towns of Bit-Karziyabku, of which Ritti-Marduk was head-man, from the jurisdiction of the neighbouring city. His reward included giving the inhabitants freedom from all taxation, from forced labour, and from liability to arrest by imperial soldiers. It also prevented the billeting of imperial soldiers on the towns.
The texts list thirteen high officials who were present at the granting of the charter, and invokes nine gods to protect the monument. There are also twenty divine symbols carved in relief.”