Cuneiform was one of the earliest forms of writing, developed in the ancient lands of Mesopotamia. Babylonian society was a complex social structure and had a need, as we do today, to record such things as temple acquisitions, land transactions, financial loans, as well as their epic stories and personal letters. When the clay was wet, a reed pen or stylus would incise the piece with etchings. The clay would then be fired or left in the sun to dry, making the text permanent. Earlier forms started as pictographs which evolved into abstract forms which included circular impressions representing numerical symbols. Cuneiform is instantly recognisable by the wedge-shaped marks, usually pressed into clay tablets. Indeed, the name ‘cuneiform’ literally means “wedge-shaped”.
Early Dynastic Clay Cuneiform Tablet
A fine clay cuneiform tablet from the Early Dynastic period featuring a rectangular shape. The cuneiform inscriptions are clearly displayed on the obverse, circular impressions can be seen next to the text characters representing numerical symbols. This was a distinctive Early Dynastic script system.
Condition: Fine condition, cracks and flacking to the reverse.