Who kept records in the palace of Mari, and why?
With over 17 000 tablets and fragments, the palace archives of Mari are the largest palace archives ever discovered in the Ancient Near East. Most of the tablets represent the so called “royal archives” of the last three sovereigns of Mari, Yahdun-Lim, Samsi-Addu, and, above all, Zimri-Lim, dating to the first half of the 18th century BC. According to the archaeological record, tablets were found in over 40 rooms of the royal palace of Mari, in numbers ranging from a single one up to several thousand tablets per room. So “royal archives of Mari” is a label for several separate archives, of which only a part were literally royal, that is, belonged to the kings of Mari.