Cuneiform was one of the earliest forms of writing, developed in the ancient lands of Mesopotamia. The UR-III culture , as we do today, needed 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”.
Small Ur-III Clay Cuneiform Tablet
A small Ur-III clay cuneiform tablet featuring scriptures on both the obverse, reverse and along the sides. This square tablet exhibits a classic Ur-III style with the incised characters neatly displayed in rows. It is likely this tablet was recording administrative texts.
Provenance: From a collection of a deceased gentleman pre 1988
Condition: Fine condition, bottom corner now missing, some wear due to age.