The oldest known clay tablets

The oldest known clay tablets from Kish, Uruk IV, Jemdet Nasr, Proto-Elamite, Ur-Nammu Law Code
The oldest known clay tablets from Kish, Uruk IV, Jemdet Nasr, Proto-Elamite, Ur-Nammu Law Code

The oldest known clay tablets

The oldest known clay tablets date back to the ancient Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia (modern-day southern Iraq). These clay tablets are inscribed with cuneiform writing, which was one of the earliest known writing systems. Here are a few examples of some of the oldest known clay tablets:

Kish Tablet

The Kish Tablet, also known as the “Kish School Tablet,” is considered one of the oldest examples of written language. It dates back to around 3500 BCE and was found in the ancient city of Kish in Mesopotamia. The tablet contains inscriptions in pictorial symbols and marks, which are thought to represent earlyt forms of numerical and administrative records.

Uruk IV Tablet

Dating to around 3300 BCE, the Uruk IV Tablet was discovered at the site of Uruk in southern Mesopotamia. It features inscriptions in the earliest form of cuneiform writing, which was pictographic in nature. The tablet records various economic transactions, providing insight into the administrative practices of the time.

Proto-Elamite Tablets

These tablets, dating to around 3100-2900 BCE, were found in the ancient region of Elam (modern-day southwestern Iran). The script on these tablets, known as Proto-Elamite script, remains largely undeciphered, but it provides valuable information about the social and economic activities of the Elamite civilization.

Jemdet Nasr Tablets

These tablets date to the Jemdet Nasr period (circa 3100-2900 BCE) in Mesopotamia. They are named after the archaeological site where they were discovered. The tablets contain administrative and economic records, as well as some proto-cuneiform symbols.

Ur-Nammu Law Code Tablet

The Code of Ur-Nammu, one of the earliest known legal codes, was written on a clay tablet around 2100-2050 BCE during the Ur III period in Mesopotamia. It includes laws and regulations related to various aspects of society, providing insight into ancient legal practices.

These ancient clay tablets provide glimpses into the lives, activities, and communication of early civilizations. They offer valuable historical, linguistic, and cultural information, allowing us to piece together the beginnings of recorded human history.

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