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1981Re: (and another delite from Fischer) Re: [ANE-2] "Tablets of Shuruppak"

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  • Robert Whiting
    Jul 13, 2006
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      On Thu, 13 Jul 2006, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
      > --- "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 corpus
      > > >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 the
      > > only contexts in which I found them to have an importance that could
      > > 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 comprehensive
      > > survey.
      > This is exactly what I'm wondering about. The handful of google hits
      > 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 have
      > vol. 1 of the Durants' history of civilization?)

      Actually, one of the google hits that I got was a short history of war
      from the Air War College (maybe my google works differently from yours).
      Interestingly, they refer to the "Tablets of Shuruppak" [sic, with capital
      T], and in their bibligraphy for the Sumerians list only Kramer, "The
      Sumerians" and Roux's history. "See"
      <http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/gabrmetz/gabr0001.htm> (Senhor Rossi,
      take note).

      > Meanwhile, Mr. Fischer also suggests, in both the Mesopotamia and the
      > Egypt sections, that (aside from the hollow reeds suggested by M. Civil
      > long ago) a potential magnifying device for reading tiny cuneiform or
      > 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 ...


      I've mentioned this before, but not for 15 years or so, but a simple (but
      effective) magnifier can be made by catching a drop of water in a small
      loop of wire (or most anything thin with a small hole in it). Anyway, if
      you can make transparent containers, why would you need water. A
      magnifying glass is just that, transparent glass with the surfaces
      properly curved to bend the light in the proper way. Once you can make
      transparent glass, it doesn't take much additional technical knowledge to
      make a magnifying glass.

      Bob Whiting
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