It was around this time that Banks came into possession of a strange tablet. Approximately five inches wide and three and a half inches tall, it was covered in mysterious etchings. Banks told people that it had been discovered in Senkereh, which is thought to be the site of Larsa, an ancient Sumerian city.
But Banks didn’t hold on to the relic, instead selling it in about 1922 to George Arthur Plimpton, a New York publisher. Then, some time in the mid-1930s, Plimpton donated it to Columbia University. Since that time, the discovery has been known as Plimpton 322, and it has attracted attention from academics around the world.
Created some 3,700 years ago, the tablet originates from a time when the Babylonians ruled Larsa. An ancient people who thrived in central-southern Mesopotamia, the Babylonians have left many relics scattered around what is modern-day Iraq.