Cuneiform tablet project for kids
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Kidipede is a history and science encyclopedia for kids, with more than 2000 pages of expert answers to your questions.


Cuneiform Tablet Project

Cuneiform tablet
Cuneiform tablet, made by kids at
Laurelhurst School, Portland Oregon

About 3500 BC, people in West Asia began to use writing. Because nobody had invented paper yet, these people wrote on clay tablets, scratching the words in with a reed pen. You can use clay and a stick (or a reed) to make your own cuneiform tablet, either copying a real cuneiform inscription, or making up your own symbols.

Cuneiform tablet
Another cuneiform tablet from Laurelhurst School
This one represents the use of numbers for tax accounts

As you work, think about how writing on a clay tablet is different from or the same as writing on paper. Is it harder or easier? What do you do about erasing mistakes? What would happen to it in a fire? Can you write as small as you can on paper? Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

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Backgammon project
West Asian games
West Asian crafts and projects
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Copyright 2012-2014 Karen Carr, Portland State University. This page last updated 2014. Powered by Dewahost.
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