The original ‘tablet’.
This clay tablet dates from around 3000BC. It is written in cuneiform – the earliest type of writing. The word means ‘wedge-shaped’ and describes the shape of the written marks which are made by a reed pressed into the soft clay.
Until recently the text was a mystery. Dr Alisdair Livingstone of Birmingham University has recently translated the text which is as follows;
King of Babylon,
Provider for the temples Esagila and Ezida,
King of Babylon.’
The text refers to King Nebuchadnezzar II, who is mentioned in the Bible. This is probably one of the earliest donations to the Museum