'A museum perspective on the materiality of cuneiform'

03/07/2018 | 02/13/2018

14A33, Mainbuilding VU, boelelaan.

Awkward questions: A museum perspective on the materiality of cuneiform, lecture by Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan Taylor

CLUE+ Research Institute for Culture, History and Heritage

Art, Culture and History


Curators of the British Museum collection of ceneiform tablets enjoy a priviliged position. We acquire familiarity with a wide range of tablets, gaining an overview of the cuneiform repetoire. We're also responsible for preserving them for future generations. These factors sensitise us to the physical reality of the inscriptions. Beyond the texts that traditionally have been the focus of Assyriology, the objects on which the inscriptions are found can tell us a lot about ancient life. And, of course, we engage audiences who do not have years of specialist traning. The questions they ask can be difficult to answer, pushing us to learn more from the objects.