14 April 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

World’s Oldest Customer Complaint “at 3800 Years Old”

When we are not satisfied with the product we receive, what almost all of us do is complain about the product. We do this sometimes by calling customer service and sometimes by applying to consumer complaint lines. We even announce it to everyone on social media.

It seems that although centuries have passed, people have not changed much. It is clear that our job is easier now, but there were determined people in the past. He carved his complaints on both sides of the clay tablet without feeling cold.

The world’s first known customer complaint was sent from Ur city, southern Mesopotamia about 3,800 years ago. (Tell al-Mukayyar in Iraq today)

The Old Babylonian tablet with inventory number 131236, found in the British museum in London, is a clay tablet from a man named Nanni telling ea-nasir that he complained that copper ore of the wrong quality was delivered and another shipment was misdirected and delayed.

Ea-nasir was a member of Alik Tilmun, a trade guild based in Dilmun. Archaeologists have discovered that he was a prominent copper merchant. Apparently, Ea-nasir was a pretty bad businessman and received lots of complaints from angry customers.

Letter from Nanni to Ea-nasir complaining after a gulf cruise that the wrong grade copper ore was delivered, misdirected, and another delivery delay. Source: British Museum.

The tablet was translated by the Asurologist A. Leo Oppenheim in Letters from Mesopotamia, which was out of print in 1967: The official, Business and Special Letters on Clay Tablates from Two Thousand Years and it was read as follows:

Addressing Ea-nasir, Nanni sends the following message:

When you arrived you said to me: “I will give Gimil-Sin (when it comes) good quality copper ingots.” Then you went but did not do what you promised me. You put in bad ingots before my envoy (Sit-Sin) and said, “If you want to get them, take them; if you don’t want to buy it, go! ” You said.

What are you taking for such a contempt for someone like me? I sent as messengers like ourselves to collect my purse with money (he was deposited with you), but by sending me your empty hand back to me several times and you despise me in enemy territory. Is there anyone among the traders who trade with Telmun who treated me this way? Just be disrespectful to my envoy! Because of a silver mina that I owe you (muttering), you are free to speak like this, I gave 1,080 pounds of copper to the palace in your name and Šumi-abum likewise, except for what we wrote on a sealed tablet to hide in Damascus’s temple, we was give 1,080 kilograms of copper.

How did you treat me for this copper? You hid my money bag from me in enemy territory; It is now up to you to fully restore (my money) to me.

Note that (from now on) I will not accept any non-good quality copper from you. I will select and take the ingots individually in my own garden and exercise my right to be rejected against you because you have insulted me.

– Leo Oppenheim, Letters From Mesopotamia.

This tablet found among the ruins of Ur was bought by the British Museum in 1953.

The tablet is 11.6 centimeters (4.6 inches) high, 5 centimeters (2.0 inches) wide, 2.6 centimeters (1.0 inches) thick, and slightly damaged. Translated from Akkadian.

Related Articles

Spectacular ancient mosaic found in Paphos, Cyprus

21 July 2021

21 July 2021

During the excavations carried out on Fabrika Hill in Kato Paphos, Cyprus, an ancient mosaic floor belonging to the Hellenistic...

New Archaeological Discoveries may Confirm What is Written in the Bible

22 March 2021

22 March 2021

The importance of what is written in the scriptures in the development of archeology is really great. It is possible...

Evidence of a 1500-year-old Byzantine church found on the beach of Ashdod, Israel

22 February 2022

22 February 2022

Recent rain in Israel has unearthed the remains of a marble pillar dating to around 1,500 years ago on a...

New Dead Sea Scrolls in The Horror Cave

16 March 2021

16 March 2021

On Tuesday, Israeli archaeologists revealed dozens of recently discovered fragments of Bible text, the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were based...

A fragment with the oldest Syriac translation of the New Testament discovered

7 April 2023

7 April 2023

A researcher from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, with the help of ultraviolet photography, was able to discover a small...

A 1700-year-old Roman water tunnel dug into the mountain was discovered in Adıyaman province in southeastern Türkiye

13 September 2023

13 September 2023

It was revealed that in the Besni district of Adıyaman province, located in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, the...

16 New Ancient Rock Art Sites Discovered In Jalapão, Brazil

13 March 2024

13 March 2024

Archaeologists at Brazil’s National Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage (Iphan) discovered 16 new archaeological sites while surveying a large...

Archaeologists in Egypt unearth Roman-era cabin and royal sphinx statue

6 March 2023

6 March 2023

An Egyptian archaeological mission discovered a sphinx statue inside a Roman-era limestone cabin excavated in Egypt’s south. The artifacts were...

Environmentalists react to the rehabilitation works in the Assos ancient port

2 October 2021

2 October 2021

Among the continuing landscaping and restoration works at the historic city of Assos in the northern province of Canakkale, a...

The ruins of a thousand-year-old Buddhist Temple will be opened to the public in Kyrgyzstan

13 September 2022

13 September 2022

The unearthed remains of an ancient Buddhist temple in Kyrgyzstan will open to the public in mid-September as part of...

Archaeologists uncover ancient mosaic of the living room of brutal Publius Vedius Pollio

13 December 2022

13 December 2022

In the Pausilypon Archaeological Park, archaeologists from the University of Naples’ “L’Orientale” uncovered an ancient mosaic. The park is located...

Oldest Recorded Gynecological Treatment

7 February 2021

7 February 2021

In their latest research, scientists have come across a treatment practice in a mummy from 4000 years ago, as written...

Unusual Potter’s Signature or Graffito found during excavation of a Roman tile kiln in England

2 August 2023

2 August 2023

Cotswold Archeology and a team of volunteers have found an unusual potter’s signature or graffito in Minety, a village in...

Urartian graves in eastern Turkey pointing out novel burial traditions

21 September 2021

21 September 2021

The excavations in Cavuştepe castle continue with the excavations in the necropolis this year. Two new tombs from the Urartian...

New research determines portable toilets of the ancient Roman world

11 February 2022

11 February 2022

New research published today reveals how archeologists can determine when a pot was used by Romans as a portable toilet,...