Complaint tablet to Ea-nasir

Oldest known written complaint / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The complaint tablet to Ea-nāṣir (UET V 81)[1][2] is a clay tablet that was sent to ancient Ur, written c.1750 BCE. It is a complaint to a merchant named Ea-nasir from a customer named Nanni. Written in Akkadian cuneiform, it is considered to be the oldest known written complaint. It is currently kept in the British Museum.[3] The tablet has also become an internet meme.[4][5][6]

Tablet on display in the British Museum.

Ea-nasir travelled to Dilmun to buy copper and returned to sell it in Mesopotamia. On one particular occasion, he had agreed to sell copper ingots to Nanni. Nanni sent his servant with the money to complete the transaction.[7] The copper was considered by Nanni to be sub-standard[8] and not accepted.

In response, Nanni created the cuneiform letter for delivery to Ea-nasir. Inscribed on it is a complaint to Ea-nasir about a copper delivery of the incorrect grade, and issues with another delivery;[9] Nanni also complained that his servant (who handled the transaction) had been treated rudely. He stated that, at the time of writing, he had not accepted the copper, but had paid the money for it.