AncientTextModTablet

Ancient Text, Modern Tablet

Cedar Rapids, Iowa 1057 Sales On Etsy since 2017

5 out of 5 stars (252)

AncientTextModTablet

Ancient Text, Modern Tablet

Cedar Rapids, Iowa | 1057 Sales

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Jeremiah Peterson

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Jeremiah Peterson

Announcement    Modern expertly handmade ancient Mesopotamian cuneiform tablet replicas that convey the wisdom, wit, magic, mystery and humor of our shared distant past in striking three dimensional writing. I carefully select ancient texts to resonate with a modern audience. In many ways, the thought of ancient Mesopotamia is not so different than our own!

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Last updated on Feb 28, 2018

Modern expertly handmade ancient Mesopotamian cuneiform tablet replicas that convey the wisdom, wit, magic, mystery and humor of our shared distant past in striking three dimensional writing. I carefully select ancient texts to resonate with a modern audience. In many ways, the thought of ancient Mesopotamia is not so different than our own!

About

Ancient Mesopotamian Cuneiform Scholar and Ceramic Calligrapher

I have spent more than twenty years studying the ancient world, especially ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt and Mesopotamia, starting at Purdue University in the mid-90’s. Eventually, I specialized in the ancient cuneiform scripts and languages of ancient Mesopotamia to earn a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007, with a specialty in Sumerian, one of the world’s oldest known languages. Along the way, I spent a great deal of time looking at thousands of ancient Mesopotamian clay tablets in the University Museum in Philadelphia. I read them, reconstructed them by joining broken tablet fragments together (a correct join fits together perfectly, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle), photographed and drew them, and published a number of books and articles about them.
The world of ancient Mesopotamia is an elusive, complicated, and utterly fascinating object of study with an endless array of sub-topics to explore. No one person can pursue all of them. I have researched and published on many things during my academic career, such as the ancient taxonomy and conception of animals, gods and goddesses, scribal education, cultic songs, erotic poetry, a list of kings who ruled before the legendary Flood, and incantations and rituals, such as one designed to change the dream of a king from a bad dream to a good one. The funnest and most satisfying thing that I ever did as a researcher was to recover texts lost for thousands of years by rejoining broken fragments: it felt like making history out of thin air.
Throughout my studies, I have always been amazed by and preoccupied with the beauty of cuneiform tablets as physical objects, by the uniqueness of clay as a writing medium, and the three-dimensional aspect of cuneiform writing, which vividly contrasts the two-dimensional concept of writing that virtually all of us in the modern world have. As with any writing system, carefully formed cuneiform signs are a work of art in their own right. The ancient Mesopotamians took great care in the quality of their handwriting and the preparation of their manuscripts. The handiwork of an experienced scribe, where every wedge of every sign is masterfully incised with the proper orientation, order, and depth, and every part of the tablet surface is carefully planned and utilized, is a sight to behold.
Ancient Text, Modern Tablet is my way of making a representation of ancient cuneiform tablets available to anyone who wants to enjoy them, and to make the thought and culture of ancient Mesopotamia, which in many ways is not so different than our own, more available to mainstream culture. Using my best approximation of ancient techniques, I create clay tablets bearing ancient texts selected to resonate with a modern audience. My creations are not exact copies of ancient artifacts, but rather individual works of art using ancient tablets as their constant model. They reflect an attempt to revive a discipline and art form out of practice for thousands of years. May Nisaba (the ancient goddess of the scribal art) find my work pleasing!

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  • Jeremiah Peterson

    Owner, Maker, Designer

    I am an internationally recognized expert in Sumerian, one of the oldest known languages. Using a best approximation of ancient techniques, I make clay tablets bearing ancient Mesopotamian cuneiform texts selected to resonate with a modern audience.

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