The Sons of Labashi: A Family of Provincial Entrepreneurs in the Heyday of Babylon


ACLS Fellowship Program


Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations


I intend to reconstruct the archive of a family of entrepreneurs active in Larsa, Babylonia (southern Iraq), between 600 and 528 BC (during the time of the Neo-Babylonian empire and the first decade of Persian rule in Babylonia). The archive includes 228 texts preserved in various museums. They are written on clay tablets in the Akkadian (Assyro-Babylonian) language, using the cuneiform script. The texts record various business transactions which shed considerable light on the society and economy of Babylonia at the end of the Iron Age and on the institutional organization of the Neo-Babylonian empire. They also prove that Larsa was a more important center in that period than previously thought.