Decipherment of the Earliest Tablets

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Science  16 Jan 1981:
Vol. 211, Issue 4479, pp. 283-285
DOI: 10.1126/science.211.4479.283


The first signs of writing were crudely impressed on clay tablets. These signs are found to represent and stand for clay tokens used for recording prior to writing. The recent decoding of a series of tokens makes it possible to identify the signs as units of grain metrology, land measure, animal numeration, and other economic units.