A Collection of Proverbs
Artifact: Clay tablet
Provenience: Abū Salābīkh
Period: ED IIIa (ca. 2600-2500 BC)
Current location: National Museum of Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq
Text genre, language: ; Sumerian
Description: Discovered at Abū Salābīkh, this is still the earliest known proverb collection, and the first to prove definitely that the Old Babylonian proverb tradition had earlier antecedents. However, the sayings found here do not appear to be direct ancestors of Old Babylonian era proverbs. Sumerian proverbs are enigmatic: short, cryptic, and presuming a background in Sumerian life that is long lost.