Measurements: 5.2 cm − height, 3.6 cm − width


Description: A small complete terracotta pillow-shaped cuneiform tablet. This tablet is an administrative document, and likely forms an account of barley or grain. It contains approximately 8-9 lines of text on both broad faces, with text also on one side. The item comes without a translation. These early tablets with written inscriptions represent the work of administrators, recording the allocation of rations or the movement and storage of goods.


At the end of the fourth millennium BC, written language developed in Mesopotamia, first as pictographs and then evolving into abstract forms called cuneiform. Cuneiform (meaning 'wedge-shaped') script was written by pressing a reed pen or stylus with a wedge-shaped tip into a clay tablet. Clay, when dried to a somewhat hardened state, made a fine surface for writing, and when fired the records written on it became permanent.


Provenance: From the collection of the late Professor Geoffrey Wilson (Warwickshire).


Reference: Cuneiform Gallery, Cornell University


Period: 3rd - 2nd millennium BC


Condition: Very fine, intact, with minor chipping and minor encrustations over the whole.

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