A great part of the Old Babylonian archival texts kept nowadays in museum collections come from illicit excavations, and therefore lack archaeological and archival context. By studying these texts, and specifically the persons playing an active role in them, they can be grouped into dossiers around key figures to whose archives they once belonged and of whose deeds they attest. One group usually gets less attention, namely the witnesses listed at the end of agreement, especially as they are often mentioned without patronymic and/or title and are therefore not always easy to identify.
However, witnesses can give us interesting information, not only on the social network of the parties involved in the agreements, but also on how these documents came about: where were they written and who was present? Witnesses were not listed randomly: their presence and hierarchy can help us disambiguate them and as such also reconstruct ancient archives.
This will be elaborated by means of a case-study from Sukkalmah Susa.