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”.
Large Fragment of an Ur-III Clay Cuneiform Tablet
A large fragment of an Ur-III clay cuneiform tablet featuring scriptures on both the obverse and reverse. This square tablet exhibits a classic Ur-III style with the incised characters neatly displayed in rows. Some parts of the cuneiform script is now missing from over time.
Condition: Fine condition, some chipping and earthly encrustation is visible to the surface