Cuneiform writing 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. They would write these documents and letters on a wet clay tablet, which was then dried, retaining the inscriptions. Cuneiform is instantly recognisable by the wedge-shaped marks, usually pressed into clay tablets. Indeed, the name ‘cuneiform’ literally means “wedge-shaped”. The text would have been written using a blunt reed.
Old Babylonian Clay Cuneiform Tablet
A complete Old Babylonian pillow-shaped clay tablet carved onto the obverse, sides and reverse with cuneiform scripts. The tablet displays the cuneiform sign ‘ki’ or ‘e2’, indicative of a place or house respectively. The repetition of the sign, which appears on the left side of the tablet, suggests that this piece could have been used as a practice tool for writing.
Provenance: Ex. Professor Geoffrey Wilson (deceased) Warwickshire, 1960-70s.
Condition: Complete and in fine condition. Minor chips to the surface consistent with age.