Sumerian clay tablet inscribed with cuneiform characters. Sumer, reign of King Shulgi, 2095-2048 B.C.

Cuneiform writing, made by pressing the characters into wet clay with a stylus, originated with the Sumerians, who later merged with the Assyrians and Babylonians. It is one of the earliest forms of writing. This tablet, the oldest "book" in the Dallas Public Libraryís Fine Books collection, is a delivery receipt for an order of reeds.


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