Impressions in clay

Clay tablet

This clay tablet is one of the oldest dated examples of writing in the University Library. The cuneiform (literally ‘wedge-shaped’) script is produced using a reed stylus and was used for 3000 years, from approximately the thirty-first century BCE to the first century CE. The language of this particular tablet is Sumerian and it was probably written in the city of Girsu in southern Iraq. It is an administrative record recording the receipt of a quantity of wool and can be precisely dated to 2039 BCE.

BS Artefacts 14
Reproduced by kind permission of the Trustees of Bible Society

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