The Department of Middle and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures of the Groningen University (formerly the Groningen Institute of Semitics) owns 23 cuneiform objects and one sealed tag. One of the brick fragments has a known provenance (GIS 21). All other objects were bought on the antiquities market by De Liagre Böhl. When Böhl moved from Groningen to Leiden he left a small part of his collection behind. In the catalogue of the Böhl collection at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of the Near East (NINO) these items are marked with ‘Groningen’. In 1997 it was decided that the collection needed preservatory measures. A few older photographs demonstrate that some of the tablets have been deteriorating. All tablets were cleaned and desalinated and some later additions in wax were removed. This resulted in increased legibility of some of the pieces. Two of the Groningen tablets have been published previously (GIS 9 and GIS 12).
The present article proposes to understand knowledge and knowledge traditions of ancient Mesopotamia as assets, deployed by actors in the social contexts in which they found themselves. This approach is illustrated with three examples from different periods of Mesopotamian history.