Curious Objects : Sumerian clay tablet

Curious Objects

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This single clay tablet is marked with lines of text in cuneiform script and is the oldest example of writing in the Library. Written in Sumerian, it records a transaction involving jars of pig fat by two men, one named Balli. The tablet formed part of a larger collection in Zabala and was illegally excavated in the early twentieth century. Later, via the antiquities market, it came into the possession of the Cambridge scholar Sir Stephen Gaselee, who donated it to the Library in 1921. It was translated the following year by Thomas Fish, a Cambridge research student. Subsequently lost to view, it was never published and was rediscovered in a box of medals during research for this exhibition.</p>

 


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