Cuneiform artifacts for cheap!
May 12, 2002 11:56 AM   Subscribe

Cuneiform artifacts for cheap! "Iraq's economic collapse means the oldest writing in the world can be bought for a song on eBay -- and has scholars racing to digitize Sumerian artifacts before they become paperweights." I've always wanted an original Epic of Gilgamesh cuneiform tablet to decorate the mantel with.
posted by homunculus (4 comments total)
Strange, but Salon acts like these are going for a dollar and that there are dozens of them for sale. I just checked eBay and there seems to be only two pieces of cuneiform on the whole site, and both of those are past 200 and 300 dollars, with days left on the auction. Doesn't sound like a massive plunder-fest to me. If I didn't need Photoshop 7 so bad, I'd be bidding on the ancient world's version of software myself.
posted by evanizer at 12:42 PM on May 12, 2002

One click away - the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative
Akkadian Cuneiform Writing System

The poor man --- by (his) debts is he brought low!
What is snatched out of his mouth must repay (his) debts.

Whoever has walked with truth generates life.
posted by sheauga at 4:09 PM on May 12, 2002

evanizer: that Salon story (not to mention the MeFi link) may have brought the situation to the attention of a lot of potential bidders.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 9:57 PM on May 12, 2002

Anybody else think buying an archeological artifact on ebay is asking to be swindled? is full of people who also thought ebay was full of great deals, even if they had to mail thousands of dollars to an unknown seller for an unexamined item.

Salon dedicates only a passing mention (otherwise there'd be no article) and fails to point out a relatively easy way to copy these items: creating a good mold out of an original.

Please people!
posted by magullo at 9:17 AM on May 13, 2002

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