Before the deluge

Picture taken from the folder

Picture taken from the folder

From November 30, 2012 to February 24, 2013, we can enjoy this wonderful exhibition in the Caixaforum of Barcelona:

Another 2,500 years would go by before the first dolmens and menhirs were built in Europe, and Egypt was not yet a uni_ed state ruled by the Pharaohs. But, in what is now southern Iraq, a people had built a great city with 40,000 inhabitants. Perhaps the first city in history, this was the capital of a kind of “empire”, with colonies as far-flung as southern Turkey. Its name was Uruk.

The first monumental architecture; the first territorial planning; the first writing in history, perhaps even predating Egypt; the first accounting. All this came about in Uruk in around 3500 BC.

The exhibition showed about 400 pieces from the most important museums of the World and it was possible to contact a lost civilization and all its characteristics:

It seems they spoke Sumerian, a tongue with no links to any other known language, past or present. After the fall of this great state in around 2900 BC, a number of independent city-states sprang up along the southern banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and in the marshlands of the delta. Five hundred years later, these cities were united, firstly, under the Akkadian Empire, whose capital, Akkad, may have occupie what is now Baghdad. Short-lived, Akkad was replaced by a second empire, that of Ur III, whose capital was the city of Ur. Replacing Akkadian, Sumerian once more became the language of this empire.

I enjoyed it a lot. Furthermore, the mathematical objects were also exhibited and I could see different mathematical cuneiform tablets. First of all, I could find Bonaventura Ubach’s suitcase:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Ubach (1879-1960) was a Catalan priest who was an orientalist interested for the Bible. He traveled to the lands of the former Mesopotamia and wrote Dietari d’un viatge per les regions d’Iraq (1922-1923).

The first exhibited cuneiform tablet is about a contract of sale of lands:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

One shar of house and orchard/Shamash-nâsir’s house/From Shamash-nâsir/Tâbîya/buys/The full price/A silver shekel and a half/ will be paid/ He won’t claim in the future/ In the name of [¿?]

Different planes of fields were also exhibited:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

A round tablet with measurements of the Third Dynasty of Ur (2100-2000 BC) from the Musée royaux d’Art et d’Histoire of Brussels:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

A map of an arable bounded land (c. XXth. century BC) from the Musée du Louvre:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Undoubtedly, it was a really wonderful exhibition!

Location: CaixaForum (map)


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