May 19, 2012 By: Edgar Poureshagh Chairman, Los Angeles Chapter Assyrian Universal Alliance On May 11, 2012, my wife and I had the great pleasure of embarking on a littlevacation to Boston, Massachusetts. Being that we love history, we decided to pay the Boston Public Library a visit because we heard that it had a significant collection of rare and collectible books. The antiquities that we found far exceeded our expectations. Aside from several rare original printings of books that were over 100 years old (about Assyrians), we also found a collection of Assyrian and Babylonian tablets. We have not known these Assyrian artifacts until now; and so it is in our best interest to write about these findings, so that Assyrians can have an up‐close and personal experience with their own history. (Full size images can be made available if contacting the author directly) Books: During our visit, we found five great books of significance at the library, although there are likely many more that we did not find in our limited time spent there. The way to access these books is to search for them electronically, via their online book database, and then take the book ID numbers to a counter on the second floor. These books are stored separately from the public library portion, and it takes about thirty minutes for the clerk to get all of the books for you. In order to do so, you must sign up for a library card. The card is free, and only requires that you show identification (driver’s license). The library card is needed in order to get access to the tablets, so it is well worth the time needed to fill out the information. Once the books have been brought to you, you will be allowed to take them to a nearby study hall to observe them. Here are some photographs of the books that we found: The Artifacts: When in the library, there is a department called “Rare Books.” It is where you will be able to access the Assyrian and Babylonian tablets. We asked the librarian if she had any books of great antiquity relating to Assyrians and Babylonians. She replied that they did not, but that they have some items in the safe that were pertinent. It took a little bit of convincing for them to show the tablets, but we explained our heritage to her, and she obliged. It took about ten minutes, and when the librarian returned, she put on white gloves, and proceeded to show us these great ancient treasures. The collection that the Boston Public Library has is of approximately ten small stone tablets dating back to approximately 2350 B.C. Although one is not physically allowed to touch the small stone tablets, the amazing thing about this experience is that you are essentially given a private viewing of the artifacts. They sit on the table in front of you, with only about a foot of space between one’s eyes and the ancient link to our Assyrian heritage. Until this letter has been written, the Assyrian community has had little to no knowledge of the location and accessibility of these artifacts. The gentleman told me that in the past six years that he has worked for the department, these tablets have only been viewed less than five times (including our visit). Below are photographs that I have taken of the artifacts. I ask that if you live on the east coast of the United States, or if you are ever passing through Boston, please take the time to visit these hidden national treasures.