Hammurabi was a king of Babylon's 1st dynasty (c. 1792-1750). His law code, as depicted in a cuneiform inscription with nearly 300 statements, is arguably the most complete record of ancient law, and it is often cited as the starting point for all later law. The code covers many subjects including family, criminal and civil law.
Despite its legacy Hammurabi's code is not the only, or even the earliest, example of clearly structured written laws in the ancient Near East.
During the first four millenniums BC the region of Mesopotamia and the wider ancient Near East (modern-day Iraq, Syria, Turkey) was the setting for the earliest emergence of civilisation, and subsequently a wealth of complex societies from powerful city states to empires like those of the Babylonians or Hittites.
These fluctuating civilisations were all interconnected. Cuneiform texts (created by imprinting wet clay with a wedge-shaped implement) were used for administrative purposes throughout the area to support and enforce legal systems.