Cuneiform writing has always fascinated me. The first known script, I still wonder at the genius of the humans who came up with it. From simple scribbles for counting to a complex set of symbols for recording their history, literature, mythology, and more, this was one of the most remarkable inventions of all time. More … Continue reading
Some more examples of foundation nails, these made of more perishable materials, pillar bases, and plaques from Sumerian temples. The king in the temple and relaxing at the palace. Visual representation was important even in the first society with a script. The king is depicted markedly bigger than the commoners, whether he is paying homage … Continue reading
It’s been ages since I posted here! Somewhere along the line, work and various projects I took on have pushed this to the backburner and I lost the habit of posting. It’s not like I didn’t need this space, but I’ve been involuting a lot recently. Anyhow, this is neither the time nor the place. … Continue reading
The word “freedom” was first written down in Sumer. “Amagi” was the first known word that signified what has come to be of foremost importance to every living human being. It’s first known use is in the reforms of UruKaGina, a king of Lagash in the 24th century BCE. He reformed the priesthood and bureaucracy … Continue reading
Lamentations are well-recorded in Sumerian archives. Essays and poems bemoaning the looting of a city and the temple of its patron deity were etched onto tablets and kept for posterity. Many of them have survived (in most cases because the clay tablets got baked and hardened when the palace library went up in flames). Reading … Continue reading
Foundation nails were placed at the corners and other important marking spots when laying the foundations of Sumerian temples. These were either depictions of deities, asking them to protect their home (the temple), or of the prince/king paying for the temple, telling the gods to remember his name. Later versions carried inscriptions, giving the name … Continue reading
Sumerian seals were typically cylindrical, although simple square and cubical seals are also known. All a trader had to do was to run the seal across the clay sealing the merchandise while it was still wet and everyone would know its owner.
Such intricately carved examples of drinking horns, it is hard to believe that these are over a millennium old!
In an era of uncertainty and increasing poverty and hardship, gold got increasingly concentrated in the hands of the church, leading to such extravagant constructs as this reliquary, one of hundreds built during the latter half of the first millennium ACE and well into the second, to house the relics (bones, limbs, blood, ashes what … Continue reading
My posts haven’t been regular in coming in, and I have not posted pics in any chronological order. I wandered from one room to another, one section to another randomly; I marveled at all that I saw, and I felt like a time-traveler with a time machine whose buttons stuck at times, throwing me into … Continue reading