The somewhat crude quality of this tablet is explained by the fact that it would have been fashioned by an apprentice scribe. It features three lines of writing in the hand of the apprentice's master. The pupil's clumsy efforts to copy certain of the symbols can be seen underneath and on the reverse side of the tablet.
A great many school tablets have been discovered at Mesopotamian sites of all periods, as well as at Susa, which is farther to the East. The budding scribe would begin by copying simple texts, and would then progress to learning by heart the pronunciation of the symbols and lists of words grouped into object categories. As his skills developed, he would be allowed to graduate to copying works of literature, before culminating his studies in the reproduction of a major text.
Diameter: 7 cm
Height: 1.5 cm
Weight: 380 grams
Packaging: Red box RMN
Period: End of the 3rd millennium BC.
Origin: Susa (Iran)
Museum: Paris - Louvre Museum