The Ancient Near East

Useful Websites and Primary Source Documents

Prepared by Linda B. Scherr, Ph.D.

January 2008


General Websites:

Ancient History Sourcebook

An Introduction to the History and Culture of Pharaonic Egypt

Egyptology Resources

ETANA:  Electronic Tools and Ancient Near Eastern Archives

ABZU: A Guide to Information related to the study of the Ancient Near East on the Web

Ancient Mesopotamian Inscriptions and Literature
Sumerian inscriptions and literature
The Sumerian King List
Babylonian and Akkadian inscriptions and literature

The Mesopotamian Creation Myth (Enuma Elish)


The Descent of Ishtar to the Netherworld

The Epic of Gilgamesh

The Birth Legend of Sargon

Enheduanna, The Adoration of Inanna

Law Code of Eshunna (text on reserve)
Law Code of Eshnunna

The Law Code of Hammurabi

There are several places online where you can find the complete text of Hammurabi's Law Code:

Advice of an Akkadian Father to his Son  

Ancient Egyptian Inscriptions and Literature

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The Memphite Theology of Creation  
The Instructions of Ptah-Hotep
Old Kingdom Pyramid Texts
The Tale of Sinuhe (12th Dynasty)  
King Teti Pyramid Text and Tomb  
Tomb Inscription of Harkhuf (6th Dynasty)  
Instructions of Merikare (First Intermediate Period)  
Prophecy of Nefer-rohu  
Hymn to Aten  

Amarna Letters, 14th century BCE

Letters from the great kings:

  • Letters from Babylonian Kings
    • EA 3: Letter from Kadashman-Enlil II of Babylon to Amenhotep III complaining about not being given a royal wife and proposing to exchange of one of his daughters for gold
    • EA 7: Burnaburiash of Babylon trying to get more old from Akhenaten
    • EA 8: Burnaburiash of Babylon to Akhenaten complaining about the treatment of his merchants
    • EA 9: Burnaburiash of Babylon asking for more gold
    • EA 12: Letter of a Babylonian princes
  • Letters from Assyrian Kings
  • Letters from Hittite Kings
    • EA 41: Suppiluliuma to Akhenaten
  • Letters from Mittani
    • EA 17: Letter from Tushratta, King of Mitanni to Amenhotep III
    • EA 23: Tusratta loaning a statue of the goddess Ishtar to Amenhotep III
    • EA 26: Tushratta sending a letter to Queen Tiye
  • Letters from the king of Alasiya (Cyprus)
    • EA 35, 38: Letters from the King of Alasiya (Cyprus) to Pharaoh
  • Letters from Canaanite rulers (vassal kingdoms)
    • EA 244: Letter from Biridiya of Megiddo to Pharaoh complaining of Labayu's attacks on his territory
    • EA 286: Letter from Abdi-heba of Jerusalem to Pharaoh asking for help against the Hapiru
    • EA 287: Abdi-Heba asking for archers against his enemies
    • EA 298: Letter from Yapahu of Gezer to Pharaoh
    • EA 365: Letter from Biridiya of Megiddo trying to improve his standing in the eyes of the pharaoh
    • EA 75: Letter from Rib-Hadda of Gubla to Pharaoh
    • EA 79: Letter from Rib-Hadda of Gubla to Pharaoh

Rameside Tomb Robberies  
Treaty between Rameses II and Hattusili III  
References to the Sea Peoples in Egyptian Texts
Merneptah Stele

Wenamun's Journey to Byblos (20th Dynasty)

Campaign of Sheshonq I
Hittite Inscriptions and Literature
The Deeds of Suppiluliumas  
The Piyama-radu Letter (a.k.a. The Tawagalawa Letter)  
Misc. Semitic Inscriptions
Gezer Calendar
The Moabite Stone (aka The Mesha Stele)  
Siloam Inscription  
Lachish Ostraca  
Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Inscriptions and Literature
The Banquet of Assurnasirpal II  
The Black Obelisk of Shalmanser III  

King Sennacherib


Ishtar Gate Inscription

Herodotus' description of Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon

Nabopolassar Cylinder  
Persian Historical Inscriptions and Literature
The Cyrus Cylinder