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

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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.'

Dimensions

28 mm
27 mm
13 mm

Production

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.
2041 BCE

Source

Purchased 1985
16 April, 1985

Cite this Object

Tablet with incised Sumerian cuneiform pictographic script, receipt for livestock, terracotta, Drehem, Sumeria, 2041 BCE 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 November 2017, <https://ma.as/48255>
{{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=21 November 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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