Legal Documents

There were a variety of legal transactions, which were carefully recorded on clay tablets, and a vast multitude of these have been recovered from the Old and NeoBabylonian periods. These documents are concerned with marriage, adoption, inheritance, sale, exchange, hire, lease, loans and receipts, as well as with court proceedings as already mentioned. Closely related to the legal documents were the administrative accounts of palace, temple and private business, and large numbers of these have also been found. Records of this kind were stored in large clay jars with a seal on top and a brief statement as to the contents of the jar. Before the records were placed in the jar, a catalogue of its contents was prepared so that a particular document could be located when it was required in a dispute.