You will be Surprised by Knowing the Visa process in Mesopotamia

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Mesopotamia Clay Tablet Letters

Although there have been thousands of civilizations in the world and we have not been able to unearth all the civilizations so far. Civilizations that we could trace but unfortunately their culture, social system, and people’s behavior could not be identified because of either that civilization was of very primitive level, or the artifacts of that civilization yet to be discovered like Indus Valley Civilization. However, this civilization was well established and way ahead in their time but due to lack of artifacts understanding, we could not trace sufficient information. Indus script still waiting to decode.

But the Mesopotamian civilization created some artifacts in such a way that by studying those artifacts today we can describe that society, their social systems, and social arrangments very precisely.

Text on clay tablets took information about myths, fables, essays, hymns, proverbs, epic poetry, laws, plants, and business. The authenticity between trade was also managed through tablets and cuneiform.

Experts have successfully decoded cuneiform language up to a level where they could translate almost every clay tablet into modern languages. By studying these translations we can surely understand that civilization. In fact, the first customer complaint was written on a clay tablet.

This arrangement was so much in trend that it took a form of letters to exchange information between peoples and countries. Here four letters from Mesopotamia are presented which were wrote (ca. 1400-1100 BC)

Visa For a Messenger

Visa for messenger clay tablet

Translation in English

A message to all the kings of Canaan, the subjects of my brother
(the King of Egypt).

Thus (says) the King (of Mitanni):

I am sending herewith my messenger Akiya to the King of Egypt, my brother, on an urgent mission (traveling as fast) as a demon. Nobody must detain him. Bring him safely into Egypt! (There) they should take him to an Egyptian border official And nobody should for any reason lay hand on him.

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Complaining to the King

Clay Tablet Complaining to the King

Translation in English

Tell the king, my lord, my god, my sun: Your servant, the dust under your feet, Milkili, sends the following message:

Seven times and again seven times I prostrate myself at the feet of the king, my lord, my god, my sun.

Your Majesty should know of the deed which Yanbamu has done to me since I left Your Majesty’s presence. Now he demands of me 2,000 shekels of silver, saying: “Hand over to me your wife and your children or I will slay you!” The king should know about this deed. Would that Your Majesty dispatch here the chariotry and take me under his protection; otherwise, I am lost.

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Servent Labaya

Servant Labaya Clay Tablet

Translation in English

Tell my king, my lord, and my sun: Your servant Labaya, the dust upon which you step, sends the following message:

Seven times and again seven times I prostrate myself at the feet of the king, my lord, and my sun.

I have heard the message that the king has sent me; who am I that the king should lose his land on account of me? If it pleases my lord, I am a loyal servant of the king and not disloyal or rebellious. Also, I do not withhold my tribute, nor do I withhold what the regent who is set over me demands of me. Really, people are slandering me; the damage has been done to me, yet Your Majesty has not investigated my (alleged) crime. If any, this, then, is my crime that I declared publicly when I entered the city of Gazri: “The king has taken away all I possess, but where are Milkilu’s possessions? Yet I know that Milkilu’s misdeed (is worse) than mine!”

Now to another matter: As to the king’s writing to me about Dumuya: I did not know that Dumuya used to consort with the Hapiru-brigands; wouldn’t I have handed him over to Addaya (if I had known)?

Now to another matter: I swear that if the king wrote to me (demanding) my own wife, I would not withhold her, and if the king ordered me: “Plant an iron dagger in your heart and die!” I would indeed execute the command of the king

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Caravans Delivery to King

Caravan Clay Tablet

Translation in English

Tell the king my lord: Your servant Tagi sends the following message:

Seven times and again seven times I prostrate myself at the feet of Your Majesty.

If it pleases Your Majesty, I am the servant of the king: I have tried to have the caravans assembled by my brother but he was nearly slain, so the caravans for Your Majesty cannot possibly be dispatched. Do ask the regent whom you installed whether my brother was not nearly slain. On the other hand, please, all our eyes also my eyes are upon you; everywhere our lives are in your hands, whether we go up to heaven or descend into the netherworld. Now I am still trying to have assembled here by a friend of mine the caravans for Your Majesty. Your Majesty may be assured that I am serving the king and that I am doing my duty.


How communication used to happen during those early days whether it is about asking for a visa to enter another country or raise a complaint against someone to the king by analyzing these clay tablet letters it is clearly understood. Hundred of thousand such letters have discovered in Mesopotamia which has helped modern society to prepare a blueprint of an ancient civilization. If similar kinds of artifacts can be found for other ancient civilizations, then it will be possible to get comprehensive knowledge about them.

Over to you. Out of four which clay tablet was more interesting for you? You can share your favorite clay tablet description by writing in the comment section


Translation of all the letters has taken from the book “Letters from Mesopotamia” by A. Leo Oppenheim

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