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These Sumerian Clay Tablets Reveal the BIGGEST Secrets of the Solar System

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Curious Objects: Sumerian Clay Tablet

This curious object is a 4200 year old
Sumerian clay tablet and is the oldest
example of writing at Cambridge
University Library. So what ancient wisdom
does this historic tablet contain? Is it
philosophy, theology, a work of great
literature? No it's two geezers
transacting some business in jars of pig fat!
It comes from Zabala in Southern
Iraq a city of ancient Sumer and the
site of one of the world's oldest
civilizations. It was donated to the
library in 1921. Translated by a student
called Thomas Fish, it was subsequently
lost of view remaining unpublished and
forgotten until its rediscovery in 2016
as part of research for the Curious
Objects exhibition. The latest research
suggests the pig fat may have been used
to make soap. Thanks to Fish we know all
about how these ancient little piggies
went to market.
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Why an ancient Mesopotamian tablet is key to our future learning | Tiffany Jenkins | TEDxSquareMile

In our ephemeral, digital world where everything is mediated through a computer screen and summoned by the click of a mouse, ancient objects in dusty old museums are essential to future of learning. In the late eighteenth century, a clay fragment from a piece of the world’s oldest literature overturned orthodoxies and advanced knowledge of the past. It’s an important lesson: evidence from the past will help us to rethink what we know which is never complete. Ancient history and the tangible artifact - something real, not virtual - will take us out of the cloud and bring us back down to earth.

Tiffany Jenkins is an author, academic, and ex-columnist for the Scotsman. She wrote the critically acclaimed Keeping Their Marbles: How The Treasures Of The Past Ended Up In Museums And Why They Should Stay There, published in 2016. She is the writer and presenter of the 2016 BBC Radio 4 series, A Narrative History Of Secrecy. She has been a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics, and was previously the director of the Arts and Society Programme at the Institute of Ideas. Her first degree is in art history, her PhD in sociology.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at
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A Stray Sumerian Tablet

Sumerian clay tablet (MS Doc. 829)
Zabala, southern Iraq, ca 2200 BCE
MS Doc. 829

This diminutive clay tablet was written by a Sumerian scribe in an administrative office around 2200 BC. The full translation of the laconic text runs as follows:

18 jars of pig fat – Balli.
4 jars of pig fat – Nimgir-ab-lah.
Fat dispensed (at ?) the city of Zabala.
Ab-kid-kid, the scribe.
4th year 10th month.

There are plenty of uncertainties about this translation. We cannot be sure that the personal names Balli, Ningir-ablah and Ab-kid-kid are correctly transcribed because of the multivalence of cuneiform signs at this date. Moreover, there are no verbs to tell us whether Balli and Nimgir-ablah were receiving pig fat or handing it out. The fat was either poured out at Zabala or for Zabala, an ancient city of central Sumer whose patron deity was the goddess Inana, identified with the mounds of Ibzeikh. The tablet may have been written at Zabala, but it is also possible it was written at, and was rediscovered in, the even more important city of Umma further to the east. To decide this we need to take account of other similar documents.

There are several clues in this short text which allow us to position it in an archival context, and comparison. Tablets dated by year and month (no day, and no ‘year-name’ which was the better attested practice) are known to belong late in the decades of the Dynasty of Akkad which ruled south Mesopotamia in the twenty-third and twenty-second centuries BC. While very few such ‘mu-iti’ (year-month) tablets have been recovered in archaeological excavations, plenty appeared on the antiquities market in the early decades of the twentieth century and are scattered among the museums of the western world, including the Louvre, the British Museum, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh, St Petersburg, Yale and Chicago. A study of these texts was included in B. R. Foster’s work Umma in the Sargonic period (Hamden CT, 1982), especially Chapter 4. He discusses numerous tablets which record the issue of food stuffs and other commodities. He writes “animal fats were an important part of human diet”, lard “was stored in jars, and issued by the sìla [ca. 1 litre]”. … “It may also have been an important commercial product, as stocks of it were kept in various cities outside of Umma itself and records kept at Umma as to what was on hand or disbursed in those cities” (pp. 116–70).

This reads very aptly for our tablet, and that it is relevant becomes apparent when we find that one of his texts mentions Balli, another records Zabala as the place where the pig fat was used, and a third tablet concerned with pig fat mentions an Ab-kid-kid. Here he is the scribe, and Balli and Nimgir-ab-lah must be receiving, issuing, or authorizing the issue of the pig fat. While Nimgir-ablah is new to us, Balli turns up regularly in the texts discussed by Foster, and he seems to be an official in charge of a wide range of oils, from pig fat and butter to sesame oil and almond oil. It is virtually certain that this little tablet was clandestinely excavated some time early in the twentieth century, and found its way to Europe along with many other tablets from an institutional archive—a palace or conceivably also a temple. As for its more precise date, this is still sub judice, but along with the rest of its archive it probably belongs to a time when Shar-kali-sharri, the last king of the Dynasty of Akkad, had lost control of parts of the south, and documents at Umma were no longer dated by his regnal years, but by another system. Unfortunately we don’t know what the starting point for the ‘4th year’ was.

Nicholas Postgate, Trinity College.


Production: Team Digital Content Unit
Presenting: Nicholas Postgate
Research Assistant: Catherine Ansorge
Film made by: Amélie Deblauwe and Błażej Mikuła
Music: Little Planet and Relaxing - Bensound.com
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Decoding the dawn of civilisation #StartedinOxford

We might finally be able to read clay tablets from the birth of written language.

Cuneiform was developed by the Sumerians in ancient Mesopotamia over 5000 years ago, and whilst there are actually more surviving cuneiform texts than in other ancient languages like Latin and Greek, we have only ever managed to translate a tiny portion of them.

Thanks to a revolutionary breakthrough in imaging technology, that could be about to change.

Oxford researchers have applied a technique called Reflectance Transformation Imaging, which combines numerous photos of an object, with the angle of the light source changed every time. This means you can digitally explore ever contour and indentation, and decipher inscriptions seemingly lost to history.

The files will even be made available to the public for free online, so anyone can examine these tablets in breath-taking detail – from the comfort of their own home!

Most of these protoelemaic tablets were used for practical purposes, rather than poetry or devotion, so they tell us a great deal about the lives of people all those thousands of years ago.

Time to shed some light on the past!




Video made by Angel Sharp Media Ltd.
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A Cuneiform Tablet in the Digital Age

One of the Yale Babylonian Collections most famous objects is a nearly 4,000 year old tablet that shows that the Babylonians understood the Pythagorean Theorem over a thousand year before Pythagoras lived. A partnership of the Babylonian Collection and Yale's Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage has brought this famous tablet into the digital world to support teaching and scholarship.

Seeing through clay: 4000 year old tablets in hypermodern scanner

Ancient clay tablets, between 2,500 and 4,000 years old, bearing cuneiform script have been scanned using a micro-CT-scanner at Delft University of Technology. The tablets are owned by the Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO). Read more:

These Sumerian Clay Tablets Reveal the BIGGEST Secrets of the Solar System

Delve deep into the Enuma Elish and the Seven Tablets of Creation. These amazing tablets go into great detail about the creation of our solar system and the beginnings of life as we know it.

Once known as the Anunnaki, these alien beings have influenced our species from the very depths of what it means to be human.
It is suggested that they still walk among us through institutions of finance and control. However, we have something that they will never have and once we learn to reclaim our power, they will no longer control our future.

Solving an Ancient Tablet's Mathematical Mystery | National Geographic

A new interpretation of an ancient tablet may show that the Babylonians had mastered trigonometry, pushing back the foundation of that subject more than a millennium.
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An ancient tablet may have just given researchers new insight into the minds of the ancient Babylonians, long known to be expert civil engineers. The clay text may demonstrate that this civilization built its monuments and canals with a higher degree of mathematical understanding than historians had thought. Discovered sometime about a century ago, scholars of ancient mathematics have been studying it for decades. New findings by Daniel Mansfield and Norman Wildberger of the University of New South Wales, Sydney reveal that the text may have been a complete table of trigonometry. If that’s true, it would be by far the oldest ever discovered. Until now, a Greek trig table from about 120 B.C. was considered the first. Plimpton 322 predates that by more than a thousand years.

READ: Ancient Tablet May Show Earliest Use of This Advanced Math



Solving an Ancient Tablet's Mathematical Mystery | National Geographic


National Geographic

Recording Sales in Clay Tablets - Mathematical Models: From Sundials to Number Engines (3/7)

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Clay tokens, an ancient system used to record goods changing hands.

(Part 3 of 7)

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For more information about recording sales in clay tablets visit

Ancient Mesopotamia 101 | National Geographic

Ancient Mesopotamia proved that fertile land and the knowledge to cultivate it was a fortuitous recipe for wealth and civilization. Learn how this land between two rivers became the birthplace of the world's first cities, advancements in math and science, and the earliest evidence of literacy and a legal system.
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#NationalGeographic #Mesopotamia #Educational

About National Geographic:
National Geographic is the world's premium destination for science, exploration, and adventure. Through their world-class scientists, photographers, journalists, and filmmakers, Nat Geo gets you closer to the stories that matter and past the edge of what's possible.

Get More National Geographic:
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Ancient Mesopotamia 101 | National Geographic


National Geographic
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These Sumerian Clay Tablets Reveal the BIGGEST Secrets of the Solar System (highlights)

Original video :
ZEG TV HIDDEN FROM THE PUBLIC


Also see:

Treasures of the UCLA Library: Cuneiform Tablets (Part 3 of 5)

Near Eastern Languages and Cultures graduate student Sara Brumfield recounts her experience working at the UCLA Library's Center for Primary Research and Training, where she described and translated two collections of cuneiform tablets: the Edward A. Dickson Cuneiform Tablet Collection (ca 2100-562 BCE) and the Cumberland Clark Cuneiform Tablet Collection (ca 2250 BC).

See more information about the Center for Primary Research and Training:


See more information about UCLA Library's Special Collections:


Writer, Director, Editor, and Producer -- ERIN FLANNERY
Production Manager -- LUCINDA NEWSOME
Associate Producer and Set Designer -- KELLEY BACHLI
Cinematographer -- BRYAN DONNELL
Additional Cinematography -- GORO TOSHIMA
Original music -- TONY MORALES
Manuscripts Librarian -- GENIE GUERARD
Visual Art Specialist -- OCTAVIO OLVERA

Documentary Funding:
The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation
Irving and Jean Stone Endowed Fund
University Librarian Discretionary Fund

Special thanks to:
UCLA University Librarian GARY E. STRONG
Director of Library Special Collections TOM HYRY
Former Head of Charles E. Young Research Library Special Collections VICTORIA STEELE
Staff of Library Special Collections

Appearing:
Sara Brumfield
Ralph Andrew Compton
Michael Heinle
Alice Mandell
Ryan Roberts
Jared Wolfe

How To Say Sumerology

Learn how to say Sumerology with EmmaSaying free pronunciation tutorials.
Definition and meaning can be found here:

Special Collections: A Babylonian Clay Tablet from 2030 BCE

Tom Camden, Head of Special Collections & Archives, shows us a Babylonian clay tablet from 2030 BCE.

A Replica of an ancient Sumerian Medical Tablet and a Mystery object made of pewter

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Every Thursday The Curator of the Mütter Museum of the College of physicians of Philadelphia introduces a mystery object for you to guess what it is. Last week's mystery object is a replica of an ancient sumerian medical tablet. It contains a variety of prescriptions and remedies. Most of the medicines contained on the tablet are to be taken with copious amounts of beer.

Hints for This weeks Mystery object:
-Dates to the earlier 19th century
-Made of pewter
-Made for a very specific use
-Must be held in a very specific way

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Music composed and performed by AJ Hager.

To learn more about the Mütter Museum or The College of Physicians of Philadelphia,
visit our website:
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5,500 Year Old Sumerian Cuneiform Tablets Reveal Stunning Revelations

The amazing knowledge the Sumerians possessed nearly 6,000 years ago is demonstrated through their artifacts. Sumerian artifacts and other archeological relics have remained hidden, but the Sumerians knew of such planets as Pluto, lends credence to the existence of Nibiru or Planet X, which was depicted in some of their tablets and cylinder seals.

Throughout the history of time, a series of extinctions has taken place upon the planet Earth possibly going back millions of years according to astrophysicists. From the dinosaurs to possibly the Biblical floods of Noah and who knows how many more civilizations in between, 'Planet X' has been throwing comets from out of the Kuiper Belt into Earth's atmosphere for an eternity and may be responsible for a series of catastrophes.

The Sumerian King List Proves Genesis!

Pastor Steve Waldron, New Life of Albany - Albany, Ga

Pharaoh's Clay Tablets Part 3

Trojans Live 9/4/18 - Clay Helton

A love letter through a millennium

From the Iranian Plateau to Mesopotamia, ancient West Asian people used clay tablets to create written records. Many clay tablets have been discovered forming a love letter that has passed through the millennium and is presented to us at the Istanbul Archaeological Museum in Turkey. This letter records for posterity the deep love that transcends time. #Asiacivilizations

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