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Nuzi was an ancient city southwest of Kirkuk in modern Iraq, located near the Tigris river. It was founded by the Hurrians around 1500 BC before being absorbed into the Assyrian Empire. Excavations in the 1920s unearthed Nuzi and, crucially, its archives of thousands of clay tablets inscribed with Akkadian cuneiform script. These provided invaluable insights into the legal, commercial and military activities of the city. They also shed light on the culture of the ancient Near East, including early versions of the stories of the Biblical characters Laban and Jacob.