Fragment of a city plan labelled ‘Tuba’


The plan, with south-east at the top, shows the River Euphrates, identified by the water-lined band. In the centre is Tuba, below which are part of the city walls and the Shamash Gate, or ‘Great Gate of the Sun God’. On the reverse of the tablet, cuneiform text describes the defence measures for the city, including the closures of the gates after dark and the postings of sentries.

Medieval traditions of urban mapping were long predated by both the Mesopotamian and Roman civilisation. The earliest known town plans come from the sophisticated urban cultures of Mesopotamia.

Full title:
Fragment of a city plan labelled ‘Tuba’, a suburb of Babylon
Clay tablet
© Trustees of the British Museum
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Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike licence
Held by
The British Museum
BM 35385

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