85/452 Tablet with incised Sumerian cuneiform pictographic script, receipt for livestock, terracotta, Drehem, Sumeria, 2041 BCE. Click to enlarge.

Tablet with incised Sumerian cuneiform pictographic script, receipt for livestock, terracotta, Drehem, Sumeria, 2041 BCE

Made in Drehem, Sumeria, 2041 BCE.

The Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia invented the first writing some 5,000 years ago. Having already established the first true civilisation by introducing agriculture and domesticizing cattle, they also decided it was more efficient to record their economic transactions in writing rather than use tokens to represent the number beasts and the amount of harvest they traded. Their initial use of simple pictograms, i.e. drawings which represented actual things, quickly developed into a complex syst...

Summary

Object No.

85/452

Object Statement

Tablet with incised Sumerian cuneiform pictographic script, receipt for livestock, terracotta, Drehem, Sumeria, 2041 BCE

Physical Description

Tablet with incised Sumerian cuneiform pictographic script, receipt for livestock, terracotta, Drehem, Sumeria, 2041 BCE

Terracotta tablet featuring nine horizontal lines of Sumerian cuneiform incised pictographic script on the obverse and reverse. Text on the obverse of the tablet details a receipt issued from Drehem to Alulu for five sheep, one lamb and four grass-fed male kids to be used for a royal offering. The tablet is dated to the eleventh month of the sixth year of Amar-Sin of the Third Dynasty of Ur. The reverse of the tablet again lists 'Total: five grass-fed sheep. Total: one lamb. Total: four male kids.'

Marks

No marks

Dimensions

Height

28 mm

Width

27 mm

Depth

13 mm

Production

Notes

The tablet was made in Drehem, Sumeria in 2041 BCE. Drehem was a town lying a few miles south of Nippur (modern Nuffar). It was the site on which King Shulgi built a large store-house complex, to which converged tribute and offerings in kind from all over the Sumerian empire.

Made

2041 BCE

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 1985

Acquisition Date

16 April 1985

Cite this Object

Harvard

Tablet with incised Sumerian cuneiform pictographic script, receipt for livestock, terracotta, Drehem, Sumeria, 2041 BCE 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 13 December 2018, <https://ma.as/48255>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/48255 |title=Tablet with incised Sumerian cuneiform pictographic script, receipt for livestock, terracotta, Drehem, Sumeria, 2041 BCE |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=13 December 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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