SUMERIAN CUNEIFORM PRAYER TABLET - ($30 US)
2400 BC study replica
Black stone-cast tablet, 80 x 60 mm (3 x 2.5")
15 mm thick (three quarter inch)
Replica of a four and a half thousand year old black mud stone tablet inscribed in old Sumerian cuneiform. Excavated from the ancient Sumerian outpost of Mari in northern Syria and dated to circa 2400 BC. Inscribed on the surface of the compressed oil-shale mud stone common in the rift valleys of Syria, it is unusual for such fragile tablets to survive so long.
Written in the elegant cuneiform characteristic of Old Sumerian, the tablet records the fragment of a lexical prayer text. Listing chants to the deities revered in the local temple, it is perhaps, the ancient equivalent of a church song book. The inscription features the famous Sumerian star symbol DINGIR, used to signify the celestial gods and always preceeding the name of a deity.
The ancient frontier city of Mari was discovered in 1933 on the eastern flank of Syria, near the Iraqi border and was classified by archaeologists as the "most westerly outpost of Sumerian culture." The frontier citizens of Mari were well known for their elaborate clothes and exotic hair styles and considered part of Mesopotamia despite being on the outer fringes.
Mari functioned as the trading outpost for southern Mesopotamia and the post deluge expansion of Sumerian culture. Since the beginning of excavations, over 25,000 clay tablets have been discovered.
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