Cuneiform on Clay


We studied the differences between hieroglyphs and the earlier form of writing called cuneiform, made by the Sumerians. I gave each child a lump of white clay and a table knife, and we made our own cuneiform on clay. I showed them examples of cuneiform, and they used the knife to cut into the clay.


After they were finished, they dipped a paintbrush into black paint, holding the brush at an angle. The indentations remained white, while the rest of the clay was black. This was a complete accident, since my idea was to paint everything with black, then use a sponge to wipe off the black from the rest of the tablet, causing the writing to be black while the tablet was white. It came out wonderful the way it was, though!


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4 Responses to “Cuneiform on Clay”

  1. This was a nice lesson on several different levels. My son, who is grown now, was also a hands on learner.

  2. Elsabe says:

    Really awesome… going to do this one with my homeschooling nieces and nephew! Do you mind if I blog our art with a link to yours of course?

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