A 4000-year-old infertility diagnosis deciphered from cuneiform tablet

Researchers studying Assyrian cuneiform tablets from Kültepe, an Assyrian settlement in Kayseri province, Central Turkey, believe to have deciphered the oldest diagnosis on infertility, dating back 4000 years.

Cuneiform tablet (by Daily Sabah)

Researchers from Şanlıurfa’s Harran University determined that the cuneiform tablet contains a prenuptial agreement which discusses infertility and a solution for the issue in Assyrian families. According to Ahmet Berkız Turp from Harran University’s Gynecology and Obstetrics Department, the wife would allow her husband to hire a hierodule – a female slave brought in to serve as a surrogate – if the couple failed to conceive a baby two years after the date of marriage. The female slave would be freed after giving birth to the first male baby and ensuring that the family is not be left without a child.

(after Daily Sabah)

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