SEXAGESIMAL COUNTING TABLET: BARLEY & OTHER COMMODITY

MS 4647
MS Short Title SEXAGESIMAL COUNTING TABLET: BARLEY & OTHER COMMODITY
Text NUMBERS 3+4, POSSIBLY REPRESENTING 3 MEASURES OF BARLEY AND 4 MEASURES OF SOME OTHER COMMODITY, IN SEXAGESIMAL NOTATION
Description MS on clay, Syria/Sumer/Highland Iran, ca. 3500-3200 BC, 1 tablet, 4,4x5,0x2,3 cm, 2 lines with 3 small circular depressions and 4 short wedges.
Commentary Numerical or counting tablets with their more complex combination of decimal and sexagesimal numbers are a further step from the tallies with the simplest form of counting in one-to-one correspondence. They were used parallel with the bulla-envelopes with tokens. The commodity counted was not indicated in the beginning, but was gradually imbedded in the numbers system or with a seal or a pictograph of the commodity added, i. e. development into ideonumerographical tablets, the forerunners to pictographic tablets. There are only about 260 numerical tablets known. Most of them are found in Iran.
Exhibited The Norwegian Intitute of Palaeography and Historical Philology (PHI), Oslo, 13.10.2003-06.2005.
Place of origin Syria / Sumer / Highland Iran
Dates ca 3500 - 3200 BC

Location