"Each part of the world recapitulates, shares in and experiences the history of the world as a whole"
Fernand Braudel

Cuneiform Tablet

Second half of the 2nd millennium BC
13.2 cm x 18 cm

Among the royal libraries and the archives in Ugarit, important written documents were found. Many tablets carry the function of a dictionary. The international connections of the kingdom of Ugarit required the development of scientific methods in reading, writing, translating and correspondence. So bilingual and trilingual dictionaries were created. In Ugarit, scripts with as many as nine languages were found. These languages included Akkadian-Babylonian, Sumerian, Egyptian Hieroglyphic, Hittite, Cypriote and Hurrian. Communication and commerce needed to be facilitated, and suitable dictionaries needed to be made for legal and trade transactions.

This big tablet is written on both faces and it represents a dictionary with three languages: the Sumerian (the language of science at that time), Akkadian (the diplomatic language) and Hurrian (a language which is still of mysterious origins, it remains unclear if it belongs to the Semitic or to the Indo-European family).

The tablet was found in Ugarit, dated 13th century BC. The content of its text is about education: teachings for scribes and copiers.

Writing was a profession taught by old masters to young students, generation to generation, and it was evidently a primary concern for the people of Ugarit.

see also