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You’ve probably seen pictures of cuneiform writing – little wedge-shaped marks pressed into clay tablets. They go back to the Mesopotamian cultures of the Tigris-Euphrates valley, many millennia ago.
In school, I was told, cuneiform was a primitive form of accounting. Lacking pen and paper – let alone computers and spreadsheets – the ancient tribes of what is now called Iraq used soft clay tablets to record the number of sheep or bags of wheat someone had bought or sold. It was just a numbering system, I understood.
Of course, I didn’t bother thinking that those ancient traders also needed symbols for sheep and wheat they were trading.
Most of those clay tablets eventually returned to the mud from whence they came. But a few were baked, to preserve them longer. And some got baked, unintentionally, when marauding tribes burned houses and granaries.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: Bible, cuneiform, Ugaritic, Phonetic alphabet, Phoenician, creation