Women could also receive punishments that their male counterparts would not, as men were permitted to have affairs with their servants and slaves, whereas married women would be harshly punished for committing adultery.
Various copies of portions of the Code of Hammurabi have been found on baked clay tablets, some possibly older than the celebrated basalt stele now in the Louvre.
In 1901, Egyptologist Gustave Jéquier, a member of an expedition headed by Jacques de Morgan, found the stele containing the Code of Hammurabi during archaeological excavations at the ancient site of Susa in Khuzestan. 1870 BC), while later ones include the Hittite laws, the Assyrian laws, and Mosaic Law.
In the preface to the law, he states, "Anu and Bel called by name me, Hammurabi, the exalted prince, who feared God, to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil-doers; so that the strong should not harm the weak; so that I should rule over the black-headed people like Shamash, and enlighten the land, to further the well-being of mankind." It had been taken as plunder by the Elamite king Shutruk-Nahhunte in the 12th century BC and was taken to Susa in Elam (located in the present-day Khuzestan Province of Iran) where it was no longer available to the Babylonian people.
However, when Cyrus the Great brought both Babylon and Susa under the rule of his Persian Empire, and placed copies of the document in the Library of Sippar, the text became available for all the peoples of the vast Persian Empire to view.
The Hazor law code fragments are currently being prepared for publication by a team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Law #127: "If any one "point the finger" at a sister of a god or the wife of any one, and can not prove it, this man shall be taken before the judges and his brow shall be marked (by cutting the skin, or perhaps hair)."Ex.
Law #265: "If a herdsman, to whose care cattle or sheep have been entrusted, be guilty of fraud and make false returns of the natural increase, or sell them for money, then shall he be convicted and pay the owner ten times the loss."Ex.
However, its copying in subsequent generations indicates that it was used as a model of legal and judicial reasoning.
While the Code of Hammurabi was trying to achieve equality, biases still existed towards those categorized in the lower end of the social spectrum and some of the punishments and justice could be gruesome.
This nearly complete example of the code is carved into a basalt stele in the shape of a huge index finger, 2.25 m (7.4 ft) tall.
The code is inscribed in the Akkadian language, using cuneiform script carved into the stele.
The Prologue of the Code of Hammurabi (the first 305 inscribed squares on the stele) is on such a tablet, also at the Louvre (Inv #AO 10237).
Some gaps in the list of benefits bestowed on cities recently annexed by Hammurabi may imply that it is older than the famous stele (currently dated to the early 18th century BC).
It is currently on display in the Louvre, with replicas in numerous institutions, including the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, the Clendening History of Medicine Library & Museum at the University of Kansas Medical Center, the library of the Theological University of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, the Pergamon Museum of Berlin, the Arts Faculty of the University of Leuven in Belgium, the National Museum of Iran in Tehran, and the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, the University Museum at the University of Pennsylvania, and Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.