Tărtărian tablets

Step 3 of 8

The lenticular tablet

Related images

Only one out of the three tablets is spherical or, more precisely, lenticular. ‘Lenticular’ means that it is formed in the shape of a lens: thick in the middle and thinner towards the outside.

To compare: this lenticular shape is one of the most basic forms of clay tablets. It is also known in Mesopotamia, where it was used for elementary school tablets on which pupils practised their first attempts to write in cuneiform. Once the tablet was full, it could just be rolled into a ball using one’s hand palms and with a good push and a few slabs there would be a new canvas to write on. Spherical clay tablets could also be used as labels and amulets or, as we have already seen, as clay weights.

But what role did this Tărtărian tablet play on its own and in relation to its neighboring tablets?