The Ashmolean

Iraq: Navel of the World

Writing [4]

Tablets were made of cleaned river clay. The scribe held the tablet in one hand and a stylus in the other, pressing it into the surface of the clay to make wedge-shaped, or 'cuneiform', signs. Most styluses were made of reeds, but this luxury version, from about 680 BC, is made of ivory. It was found in the Assyrian royal city of Nimrud (ancient Kalhu).

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