Emerging from the Sumerian civilization, cuneiform script is the earliest known writing system in the world. Cuneiform (from the Latin cuneus, meaning "wedge") was written on clay tablets by using a reed stylus to create wedge-shaped impressions. Azusa Pacific University's Special Collections contains one literary cuneiform clay tablet, in the Sumerian language, from the Isin-Larsa Period, dated 1950-1750 B.C. Considered large, it measures 108x80x34 mm. The tablet has been cataloged into UCLA's Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative, and has been photographed by USC's West Semitic Research Project. Two of their photos are posted below.
Special Collections Spotlight: Cuneiform Tablet
Access to the Collections
To arrange use of the Special Collections, contact Ken Otto, Special Collections librarian, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (626) 815-6000, Ext. 5263.