Previous by DateNext by Date Date Index
Previous by ThreadNext by Thread Thread Index
LM_NET Archive

Please excuse any cross-postings:

"Cuneiform Tablets:  From the Reign of Gudea of Lagash to
Shalmanassar III," a presentation from the Library of Congress's
African and Middle Eastern Division, is now available on the Library's
Global Gateway Web site:

"Cuneiform Tablets:  From the Reign of Gudea of Lagash to
Shalmanassar III" includes 38 items--mostly clay tablets, but also
several brick fragments and two clay cones. The oldest tablets date from
the reign of Gudea of Lagash (2144-2124 B.C.).  Other tablets appear to
belong to the Ur III period, early second century B.C, including some
tablets inscribed with dates ranging from 2063 to 2031 B.C. These
tablets contain the earliest examples of writing held in the Library of

Cuneiform, an ancient pictographic writing system developed by the
Sumerians, involves the use of a reed to make impressions in clay. The
tip of a reed stylus was impressed into a wet clay surface to draw the
strokes of the pictograph-thus acquiring a "wedge-shaped"
appearance. The clay [or brick] was then either baked in a kiln or dried
by the sun. The word cuneiform is derived from Latin-"cuneus" for
wedge and "forma," meaning shape.

The cuneiform tablets in this online presentation served various
purposes. Twenty-two tablets contain inscriptions pertaining primarily
to the receipt of and payment for goods and services-accounting records,
in effect.  Twelve tablets are school exercise tablets, used by scribes
learning the cuneiform writing system

The Library of Congress acquired its collection of cuneiform materials
in 1929 from Kirkor Minassian, an art dealer. These materials were part
of his collection of Islamic bookbindings, manuscripts, textiles, and
ceramic and metal objects illustrating the history of the development of
writing and book arts in the Middle East.

"Cuneiform Tablets:  From the Reign of Gudea of Lagash to
Shalmanassar III" joins other world history collections available on
the Library of Congress's Global Gateway Web site:
The presentation may be found under the heading: "Individual Digital

Please direct any questions regarding this collection to the Global
Gateway inquiry form at:

Laura Gottesman
Reference Specialist
Digital Reference Team
The Library of Congress

All LM_NET postings are protected by copyright law.
To change your LM_NET status, e-mail to:
In the message write EITHER: 1) SIGNOFF LM_NET  2) SET LM_NET NOMAIL
3) SET LM_NET MAIL  4) SET LM_NET DIGEST  * Allow for confirmation.
LM_NET Help & Information:
EL-Announce with LM_NET Select:
LM_NET Supporters:

LM_NET Mailing List Home