Whilst I have not seen any transparent vessels that would serve
this purpose, I did attend a lecture on the use of hollow glass
beads. It was suggested that the beads had been used for the purpose
of magnification IA Assyria, though I don't believe that it was
suggested that this was in order to read small cueniform documents.
As I recall the lecture was at the RAI in London a few years ago,
and was entitled something along the lines of "The eye glasses of
Ashurbanipal". Whilst there does not appear to be any textual
evidence regarding the use of these beads, it does appear to be
quite a reasonable theory.
--- In ANEemail@example.com
, "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...>
> --- "Ariel L. Szczupak" <ane.als@...> wrote:
> > At 00:44 12/07/2006, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > >But whence the "meme" (if you will) "Tablets of Shuruppak" as a
> > >that contains precious information about pre-biblical peoples
and as an
> > >auhtoritative source of information on the third millennium?
> > The tablets of Farah are of course important scientifically, but
> > only contexts in which I found them to have an importance that
> > imply attributes like "precious" and "authoritative" are in
> > discussions concerning non/pseudo scientific narratives (e.g.
> > freemasonry, Mormonism, etc).
> > The caveat is that it's my personal experience, not a
> > survey.
> This is exactly what I'm wondering about. The handful of google
> for "tablets of shuruppak" turn up exactly that range of contexts,
> suggesting that the phrase appeared, maybe just once, in some
> authoritative (or at least widely popular) source. (Does anyone
> vol. 1 of the Durants' history of civilization?)
> Meanwhile, Mr. Fischer also suggests, in both the Mesopotamia and
> Egypt sections, that (aside from the hollow reeds suggested by M.
> long ago) a potential magnifying device for reading tiny cuneiform
> hieroglyphic signs was a "transparent vessel filled with water."
> Somehow I don't recall seeing any sort of "transparent" vessels at
> either the OI or the Met museums ...
> A few pages further on, he notes that "all the Jews" were exiled to
> Babylon ...
> Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...