A Mesopotamian writing tablet

For the classroom

Front view of the clay tablet


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Back view of the clay tablet


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The teacher’s writing


This clay tablet from about 1900 – 1700 BC has a teacher’s writing on one side and the student’s version on the other. Notice how the appearance of cuneiform has changed over time.

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The student’s copy


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Visitor trying out cuneiform writing


A young visitor to the British Museum trying out cuneiform writing.

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Cuneiform symbol for barley

Source: mesopotamia.co.uk

The story of how the cuneiform symbol for barley changed over time.

Visit the site http://www.mesopotamia.co.uk/writing/story/sto_set.html

Mesopotamian scribes

Source: mesopotamia.co.uk

The work of Mesopotamian scribes.

Visit the site http://www.mesopotamia.co.uk/writing/explore/exp_set.html

Interactive game with cuneiform tablets

Source: mesopotamia.co.uk

A challenging interactive game where students have to try to fit together broken cuneiform tablets.

Visit the site http://www.mesopotamia.co.uk/writing/challenge/cha_set.html

Write your name in cuneiform

Source: penn.museum

Webpage where you can write your name in cuneiform.

Visit the site http://www.penn.museum/cgi/cuneiform.cgi

Early cuneiform tablets

Source: cuneiform.library.cornell.edu

More early cuneiform tablets – click and click again to get a large image.

Visit the site http://cuneiform.library.cornell.edu/collections/archaic/overview

The evolution of signs into developed cuneiform

Source: ancientscripts.com

Some useful examples of the evolution of signs into developed cuneiform

Visit the site http://www.ancientscripts.com/Sumern.html

Writing in Iraq from Sumer to the Islamic period

Source: ashmolean.museum

An overview of writing in Iraq from Sumer to the Islamic period, with objects to investigate.

Visit the site http://www.ashmolean.museum/ash/amps/iraq-navel/writing.htm

Outside the classroom

Here is a selection of museums with relevant collections.

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Source: ashmolean.org

Visit the site http://www.ashmolean.org/

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Source: fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

Visit the site www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

Manchester Museum

Source: museum.manchester.ac.uk

Visit the site http://www.museum.manchester.ac.uk/

British Museum

Source: britishmuseum.org

Visit the site http://www.britishmuseum.org/

A Mesopotamian writing tablet