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    Origin of writing lost in Iraq looting

    In those two lost tablets were all future writings: the Book of Job, superman comics, King Lear, the Sherlock Holmes stories, all mathematical and scientific treatises, Sappho and Whitman, and the very newspaper you are holding in your hand.

    Alberto Manguel, author of “A History of Reading,” on the loss of a pair of 6,000-year-old small clay tablets during the looting of the National Museum of Iraq following the 2003 liberation of Baghdad by U.S. and coalition forces. By scratching stick animals on the clay to record a livestock transaction, “a brilliant anonymous ancestor… invented for all future times the magical art of writing,” Manguel writes.

    Alberto Manguel, “Our First Words, Written in Clay, in an Accountant’s Hand,” New York Times, April 20, 2003.

    TAGS: Origin of writing, Language, Writing and writers, Language, Communication, National Museum of Iraq.

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