INTERNATIONAL LAW IN THE FIRST MILLENNIUM
Even though the cuneiform writing system continued to be used in the Near East through thefirst millennium, cuneiform documentation becomes progressively scantier and more one-sided towards the end of the millennium as a result of the establishment of Aramaic as an imperial lingua franca under the Neo-Assyrian Empire (see 2.1.2 below).1 Being written on perishable materials, the only relevant Aramaic sources extant are three eighth-century treaties. Thus most types of source relevant to the study of international law, while abundantly available earlier, are entirely missing from the latter half of the millennium.
Original treaties in cuneiform have been preserved only from the Neo-Assyrian period, from which twenty-two texts are extant, dating between ca. 825 and 625.2 The individual texts vary greatly in type, content, length, and quality.3____________________