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Permanent Collection: Ancient Near Eastern Art:
Tablet in Envelope

Tablet in Envelope

Mesopotamia, possibly Nippur. Ur III, c. 2044 B.C. Clay. 1921.118

Letters or important texts were wrapped in a clay envelope, on which the text was re-recorded and a seal applied. This precaution would prevent anyone from tampering with the message by rewetting the clay and changing the tablet's contents. A similar system was used for all kinds of containers, sealed with a clay cap, on which the owner's seal was rolled.

Collections & Exhibitions: | Ancient Egyptian and Nubian Art | Art of the Ancient Americas | Asian Art | Greek and Roman Art | Sub-Saharan African Art | Works of Art on Paper

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