Tax on Delivery

Cuneiform Tablet[Cuneiform Tablet: Southern Mesopotamia c. 2050 BC.]

Cuneiform writing was developed by the ancient culture of Sumer (which is now in the region of modern-day Iraq) and was one of the first scripts used to record information.

It was written on dampened hand-shaped clay tablets, using a wedged stick (cunea being Latin for wedge), which were then sun-dried or fired. The earliest tablets, from around the end of the 4th millennium, record the transactions of tax collectors and merchants. They later began to record laws and texts on astronomy, literature, medicine and mathematics.

  • The tablet (featured above) records the delivery of taxes, paid in sheep and goats in the 10th month of the 46th year of Shulgi, (Second King of the Third Dynasty of Ur).

Proof to the age old saying “There are two certainties in life – Death and Taxes” (attributed to Benjamin Franklin)

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