SUMERIAN AKKADIAN CUNEIFORM - ($30 US)
ADMINISTRATIVE TABLET 2000 BC
Stone cast tablet 80 x 55 mm (3 x 2.25") with cuneiform inscription both sides
& parchment description
Cast replica of an Akkadian baked clay tablet from 2000 BC. An excellent example of Akkadian cuneiform, an administrative tablet excavated from the eastern flank of ancient Syria. It is thought to be an account of grain destined for various cities as part of a trade agreement.
Written in Sumerian cuneiform but using the Semitic language of the Akkadians, the tablet also displays a few monosyllabic words from Old Sumerian, which were often used as a form of scribal shorthand. For scholars, administrative tablets like this reveal much about the social, political, and economic history of the period.
After Sargon of Akkad forged Mesopotamia's first great empire in 2350 BC, the Akkadians subsumed Sumerian culture and adapted their own Semitic tongue into cuneiform script. Subsequently, the Akkadian language acquired a literary prestige that made it the equal of Sumerian and it became the common language of the Middle East until the Assyrians introduced Aramaic in the 7th century BC.
The Akkadian version of cuneiform was adapted to write many other languages, including Babylonian and Assyrian and remained in use as the "high" language of priests and scholars for two and a half thousand years.
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