Sumerian/Elamite Cylinder Seals (French Sceaux-cylindres, German Zylindersiegel) are small (2-6 cm) cylinder-shaped stones carved with a decorative design in intaglio (engraved).
The cylinder was rolled over wet clay to mark or identify clay tablets, envelopes, ceramics and bricks. It so covers an area as large as desired, an advantage over earlier stamp seals. Its use and spread coincides with the use of clay tablets, starting at the end of the 4th millennium up to the end of the first millennium.
After this time stamp seals are used again. Cylinder seals are important to historians. The seals were needed as signature, confirmation of receipt, or to mark clay tablets and building blocks.
The invention fits with the needs caused by the general development of city states. Inscriptions are mostly carved in reverse, so as to leave a positive image on the clay with figures standing out. Some are directly carved and leave a negative imprint.
Regarding the clay tablets found at Uruk: The language of these texts is not known so they cannot be 'read'. However, as the script is largely pictographic, they can at least be partly understood.
Whether the elaborate writing system of the early Uruk texts with its large number of signs was the result of a l ong development or of a rapid breakthrough, perhaps by a single individual, is not known.
Already, in earlier periods there were tablets with signs that had been impressed on them rather than written with a stylus. The signs corresponded to the measures of quantity that appeared on the Uruk tablets.
Stamp and cylinder seals for identifying ownership of property, and tokens for recording commodities, were other possible sources.
The Babylonian/Mesopotamian creation myth, Enuma Elish, When on high, was written no later than the reign of Nebuchadrezzar in the 12th century B.C.E. But there is also little doubt that this story was written much earlier, during the time of the Sumerians.
Drawing some new light on the ancients, Henry Layard found within the ruins of the library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh, texts that were not unlike the Genesis creation in the Bible.
George Smith first published these text in 1876 under the title, The Chaldean Genesis, Akkadian text written in the old Babylonian dialect.
The Babylonian god finished his work within the span of 6 tablets of stone. The last and 7th stone exalted the handiwork and greatness of the diety's work.
Thus the comparison must be made that the 7 days of creation found in the Bible, borrowed its theme from the Babylonians and them form the Sumerians.
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