Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sumerian tablet in private ownership authenticated

Ron Veenker has verified that a Sumerian tablet in private ownership is the real thing.

Veenker said a wealthy donor bought the tablet from a dealer in New York City around 1901. In all, the donor bought a collection of 400 artifacts for Haverford College near Philadelphia. In 1962, the collection was transferred to the Oriental Institute in Chicago with an inventory list, Veenker said.

"Best I can make out," he said, "14 did not make the trip."

Veenker believes the artifact in Buie's possession is one of the missing 14.

The rest of the collection is stored at the institute.

Veenker explained that a bureaucrat, who probably worked in a Sumerian temple or government warehouse, recorded the information on the tablet. The inscription is a list of transactions.