Friday, June 13, 2014


"Before I talk, I should read a book", so the line goes in one of very few songs about ancient Mesopotamia and I am immediately reminded of one of the oldest pieces of pottery I have ever held and studied. Illustrated is an ancient Sumerian cuneiform foundation stone made sometime between 1953-1935 BC. Hand rolled out of a near bisque terra cotta, the cone then had a lengthy cuneiform inscription impressed into the cone before it was baked. Such pieces were made and then used as decoration in and around the walls of temples, the dedications were intended as a "talisman" to help protect and ensure the longevity of the structures. The dedication itself, it specific to a particular event and this one, though not translated, dates to a specific time from 1953-1935 BC. If objects could talk, I wonder what dramatic adventures this piece of clay would have to tell?

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