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2nd printing. Ink name on front flyleaf. 1993 Trade Paperback. 152 pp. The Ebla tablets are a collection of as many as 1800 complete clay tablets, 4700 fragments and many thousand minor chips found in the palace archives of the ancient city of Ebla, Syria. The tablets were discovered by Italian archaeologist Paolo Matthiae and his team in 1974–75, rendering sensational their excavations at Tell Mardikh, site of the ancient city, after ten years' work noticed only by professionals. The tablets, which were found in situ on collapsed shelves, retained many of their contemporary clay tags to help reference them. They all date to the period between ca. 2500 BC and the destruction of the city ca. 2250 BC. They are the oldest and the largest collection of tablets yet found from the ancient Middle East.