Libraries of Clay Tablets

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Amita Vadlamudi an Information Technology professional volunteers at a local public library working as a shelf reader. Amita Vadlamudi finds it interesting to learn how information has been recorded and disseminated throughout human history.

Libraries have existed for thousands of years. In the 1850’s British archaeologists discovered two of the oldest libraries in Northern Iraq, the region that was part of ancient Mesopotamia. It is believed that the libraries belonged to King Sennacherib of Assyria who ruled from 704 to 681 b.c. His grandson Ashurbanipal was credited with assembling the huge collection of records from kingdoms and empires prior to his time.

The collections contained in these libraries were in the form of clay tablets. The ancient people of Mesopotamia recorded information on wet clay that was later baked and dried. The writings on these dried clay tablets remained durable for thousands of years, although modern scholars are unable to translate the meaning of them.

Libraries of clay were also found during excavations in the ancient cities of Syria and Turkey.

Amita Vadlamudi’s other articles may be found at Amitavadlamudi.org. Her favorite images may be found at her Alternion site.

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