Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cuneiform Tablet Tutorial

This tutorial on creating cuneiform tablets is intended as an educational exercise for kids, but it's equally useful for anyone looking to create reproductions of Mythos artifacts like the G'harne Fragments or Zanthu Tablets. For a few bucks you can pick up enough clay to produce dozens of tablets, and the level of authenticity can't be beat. Heck, you can bury the things in your backyard for a few weeks and they'll produce their own weathering treatment.

Here's another take on the process being used to create a reproduction of "The Descent of Ishtar".


CoastConFan said...

Nice stuff, it's good to see something a little different. Most of the cuneiform tablets I have observed in collections and museums were of Hittite from the excavated Royal Library at Hattusus in central Turkey. Most of them were mundane land records and contracts although some were highly important treaties and the like. Tablets could be enclosed in an envelope covering that was fired on to make seal to keep unauthorized people from reading the letter or document. Also keep in mind the ancients used both standard seals and cylinder seals to mark their tablets. A quick trip through the internet with google images will give you a good feeling of the diversity of tablets in color and content.

CoastConFan said...

With those of you with a bent towards authenticity and perhaps insanity, here is an url that might help.

It will yield up pages of text like this:
http://xml.coverpages.org/images/snyderUgaritic20010315.gif , enjoy!

beigemac said...

There's a guy called pablitoxxx on eBay, that makes replica Sumerian and other culture style tablets and artifacts. I've bought several and they all look amazing, especially in a display with mythos style artifacts.

josefk said...

Good post, and the links in the comments very useful, too. Now I want to make some of these things.

Anonymous said...

Just a word of warning: If you use "air drying" clay, you shouldn't bury them underground, because the moisture would turn them soft again. I know, they advertise it as curing without firing, but water will turn it soft again extremely quickly. So, only do such burying with fired tablets. ^_^