This is a reproduction Amarna clay tablet to be used as a hands-on artifact. The ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and Hittites also wrote on tablets such as this made from clay. The Grand Rapids Public Museum has a collection of several authentic tablets, and this reproduction can be used to support learning about these fragile ancient artifacts. Although clay tablets varied in shape and dimension, this example represents a a common rectangular shape that is about five inches long. While the clay was still wet, the writer used a stylus to inscribe it with cuneiform characters. By writing on every surface in small characters, they could copy a substantial text on a single tablet. For longer texts the scribe used several tablets, linking them together by numbers and catchwords as is done in modern books. This example is a friendly letter from Tushratta to the King of Egypt.
Virtual History Scavenger Hunt (June 2020) Use this scavenger hunt to explore artifacts and specimens in the GRPM’s Digital Collections. This scavenger hunt will help you explore key parts of history at several levels - our city, our state, our country, and our world!