First clay tablet describing Syriac cuisine discovered in Iraq

NINEVEH PLAINS — The first clay tablet describing the cuisine of the ancient Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people has been discovered in Iraq.

The tablet dates back to the era of the Syriac-Assyrian kingdom. According to researchers, this tablet is the first menu for an official dinner in human history.

The ancestors of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people in Beth Nahrin (Mesopotamia) were both materially and culturally rich. They lived a luxurious life in terms of food and drink in times of relative peace.

They celebrated victory in wars by preparing food and drink, which was a societal and political custom that kings used to show their wealth and strength.

The tablet, which depicts a menu of food items, indicates that the ancient Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people operated public restaurants.

The tablet dates to the era of King Ashurnasirpal II, who is known for organizing one of the largest celebrations in history in his palace. More than 70,000 people were invited to that celebration, where food and drink were served.

This tablet also shows the interest of the ancient Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people in spices, especially hot ones, in addition to sugar, salt, and others.