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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Little-Known Facts 1: Laughter in Mesopotamia

One of the most popular features in the Sumerian equivalent of “Reader’s Digest” was a merry look at military life entitled “Humour in Cuneiform”. A sample is shown below:

The text reads: "What's an Elamite urn?" - "Thirty karsha silver* a year."

*(Regarded as a good wedge, in those days.)

The magazine throve because it was light reading - the monthly issue could be borne by a single yoke of oxen.

Ultimately it became a victim of its own success when the increased weight of advertising significantly diverted logistical resources during the Elamite siege of Ur, leading to the fall of the city, the abduction of King Ibbi-Sin and, of course, the slaughter or enslavement of its subscribers.


James Higham said...

Creased with laughter over those scawlings.

Sackerson said...

That's made the effort worthwhile.

Catherine said...

Haha! Thank goodness Broad Oak Magazine has no such need for oxen! Brilliant work!

Sackerson said...

We have virtual oxen.