The Library at Ninevah Illustration

Ancient Mesopotamia for Kids
The Library


One Assyrian king decided he was going to create a library to hold tablets that contained the history, myths and stories from Sumer, Babylon and Assyria. Assyria had grown into a powerful empire, whose kings were focused on war and expansion. Typically, the only history of interest was the history of Assyrian victory in battle. This king was different. He built his library in his capital city of Nineveh. He believed building this library was his greatest accomplishment.

When archaeologists discovered the library at Nineveh in the 1850s, they found over 30,000 clay tablets written in cuneiform with different stories, histories, magical texts, letters, medical texts, government documents and fragments of documents. These tablets are our single most important source of knowledge about ancient Mesopotamia. They are still being researched today. What a find!

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