Replica of the Stele of King Hammurabi of Babylon, original 1796-1750 BCE
Hammurabi’s Stele is a slab carved from a hard black stone called diorite. It shows the King of Babylon, Hammurabi (c. 1792-1750BCE), receiving the laws of the land from the Sun God, Shamash. The 282 laws are listed in the old style of cuneiform script. This was used for legal documents until about the first century CE. Nine laws refer to medical practice. It was originally erected in the temple of Marduk in Babylon. This is now modern day Iraq. The stele was excavated in 1901 by Professor V. Scheil in Susa. It had been carried there as a spoil of war by raiders after the fall of Babylon (c. 1600BCE). Parts of three steles were found at the same time. The laws cover all aspects of life in Mesopotamia. Archaeologists and historians have gleaned valuable information from them.
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Use for precise reproductions of valued objects, usually in the same dimensions as the original. For reproductions of an image alone, use "reproductions" or "facsimiles." Use also when more than one similar object is produced by the same artist, craftsman, or studio, with little or no variation between them; if variation is apparent, use "versions." Distinct from "forgeries" and "counterfeits," which are produced with the intent to deceive.
Glossary: classical and medieval medicine