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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Paperwork’ from the ancient world, c. 2038 BC - 514 BC.

Writing was invented at the dawn of civilisation, a time where humans congregated to form the first ‘cities’ of the world. This new way of living involved the creation of distinct social hierarchies, craft specialization and coercive political structures. Something was crucially needed: a way to record and store economic and administrative information. This need is basically how writing first developed, about 3300 BC. It is unsurprising, therefore, that much of our early evidence for writing are records of accountancy.
- All are written in cuneiform.
first example is an account of barley payments
*Neo-Babylonian, 550 BC
second is a receipt for silver
*Achaemenid, 537 BC
the third, a proxy contract for the purchase of a slave
*Neo-Babylonian, 554 BC
The fourth tablet is a receipt of two lambs
*Ur III, 2038 BC
the fifth an account of the delivery of animals for offering
*Neo-Babylonian, 609 BC,
The sixth example is a house rental contract
*Achaemenid, 514 BC.