Hammurabi, king of Babylon from 1792 BC to 1750 BC

 (standing), depicted as receiving his royal insignia from Shamash, the sun god from

 the upper part of the stele of Hammurabi's code of laws. It is one of the oldest

deciphered writings of significant length in the world. Inscribed on a block of black

diorite and found on the acropolis of Susa by an expedition sent out by the French

Government under M. de Morgan in 1901. About one-eighth of the code (five columms)

has been erased ; the remaining forty-four columns contain two hundred and

forty-eight separate provisions. These provisions relate almost exclusively

to civil and criminal law.