Used his wife and sister as collateral

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

For a 3 month loan? I wonder if this was considered a criminal loan at the time, or if this was normal? The only non-criminal uses of 3 month loans, that I can think of is loans to farmers right before harvest time, and then modern loans to governments.

One tablet, found in the courtyard of the pillared house, documents a land sale in the year 698 or 697 B.C.E.. The other tablet was inside a different structure and documents a loan in the year 665 or 664 B.C.E.

This money was lent to what appears to have been a family for a three-month period by a Mesopotamian living in the area of the former Israelite kingdom. The borrower, according to the document, used his wife and sister as collateral and promised to pay punitive interest amounting to a third of the sum if he did not return the loan on time.