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

Tablet with Sumerian cuneiform pictographic script

Made
The Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia (the fertile region between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, now mainly in Iraq and Syria) invented one of the first systems of writing some 5,000 years ago; similar systems arose in East and South Asia and in Mesoamerica. The Sumerians had previously used tokens to represent the number of beasts and the volume of grain traded, but recording them with symbols on a compact medium was more convenient. This clay tablet was baked after being inscribed, to make …

Summary

Object No.

85/452

Object Statement

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

Physical Description

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

Made

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.

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 1985

Acquisition Date

16 April 1985

Cite this Object

Harvard

Tablet with Sumerian cuneiform pictographic script 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 18 May 2022, <https://ma.as/48255>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/48255 |title=Tablet with Sumerian cuneiform pictographic script |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=18 May 2022 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}