The Modern Ancient Tablet

The Modern Ancient Tablet
A curatorial intervention by Alex Marko, MA student, Archaeology

The Modern Ancient Tablet explores the many ways of seeing ancient Mesopotamian art.  The Jonathan and Jeannette Rosen Cuneiform Tablet Collection has allowed the Johnson Museum unprecedented access to artifacts from the ancient Mesopotamian world, and The Modern Ancient Tablet pairs these artifacts with cutting edge scientific tools and the research they have enabled.  This fascinating juxtaposition of ancient and modern explores what we see when we look at ancient art and how our experience can be enhanced and changed through scientific representations. It is estimated that only 200 specialists in the world can translate and read cuneiform tablets, yet these objects are still highly prized and universally appreciated as finely crafted works of the ancient human past.  The digital representations and 3D printed replicas displayed in The Modern Ancient Tablet allow new, more in-depth appreciation of the artistry and sophistication of these tablets that were used for detailed accounting and intricate storytelling.  The thrill of viewing tablets that are some of the earliest examples of writing is a rare privilege in itself, and The Modern Ancient Tablet enhances our ability to engage with these priceless artifacts.  Modern scanning capabilities even allow museum visitors to see inside artifacts that have not been opened since they were sealed more than 4,000 years ago.

Cuneiform tablets are uniquely situated as both archaeological artifacts and art objects.  Cuneiform is the world’s oldest known system of writing,[1] and Mesopotamian accounting systems such as sealed bullae with interior counting tokens predate even cuneiform.  This ancient system of writing was not deciphered until the 1800s[2] and remains the domain of only highly trained academic specialists to this day.  Coinciding with the academic isolation of these classes of objects is also a spatial one, as existing collections span four continents[3] and require expensive travel (often leading to highly restricted access).[4]  Despite the many barriers to full academic engagement with these artifacts of the ancient Near East, any museum that is privileged enough to have access to them would be remiss to exclude them.

In The Modern Ancient Tablet[5]a Pre-Sargonic[6] bulla dating from the 4th millennium BCE[7] and an Old Babylonian cuneiform tablet, both from the Jonathon and Jeannette Rosen Cuneiform Tablet Collection, have been installed alongside modern scientific interpretive tools.  The aim of the intervention is two-fold: firstly, the juxtaposition of ancient artifacts alongside modern scientific representations is meant to illuminate the advances in scholarship such tools facilitate.  The second and arguably more important aim is to explore both the way we see ancient artifacts and the experiences that our modes of viewing allow.  The Modern Ancient Tablet, therefore, is meant to explicitly inform as well as raise unanswered questions for the viewer.  Paramount among the issues raised by the exhibit are the implications of the way that viewing publics experience art and objects, both in the museum and beyond[8].

Ways of Seeing
At the core of The Modern Ancient Tablet are the ways in which we, as individuals, publics, connoisseurs, and/or scholars, see objects and art.  The modes of display incorporated in many museums often “isolate [an object] from its world, to offer it up for attentive looking and thus to transform it into art,”[9] a process which creates a unique way of seeing.  This mode of viewing has both positive and negative consequences; isolation may diminish contextual information, but simultaneously allows for a depth of study owed to its ideal situation for “attentive viewing.”  The former consequence, in some cases, can lead to museums “[making] it hard to see”[10] by removing objects from their broader context without adequately interpreting and explaining them.  This problem particularly arises with archaeological artifacts, which are sometimes difficult to appreciate[11] due to their nature, size, delicacy, and reliance on contextual information for interpretation.  The addition of new interpretive tools, particularly those that represent objects in their full 3-dimensional form, can greatly help to enhance appreciation of museum objects.[12]  The use of 3D digital representations can serve as a proxy for the haptic experience that researchers, as well as an objects original creators, have when engaging with an ancient artifact.  Technology has also enabled mimetic replicas through 3D printing, offering another means of sharing the information and experience available to those who directly handle original artifacts.  The process of 3D printing has been described as “additive manufacturing”, wherein three-dimensional objects are created via the successive addition of layers[13] of a printing medium.  This medium can come in many forms, such as hardened plastics, wire, ceramics, metals, and even food.  The applications of this technology extend far beyond museums and archaeology, and it has already been applied to a range of pursuits from toy manufacture to molecular scale medical research[14]

The incorporation of new, scientifically derived interpretive tools allows museumgoers to become more engaged by allowing new interactions with objects, even if by proxy, in which they actively participate.[15]  In addition to experiencing the objects themselves, viewers engaged in these new interactions also gain a sense of the ways of seeing employed by researchers who study archaeological artifacts.  By personally engaging with ancient artifacts through these interpretive tools, museumgoers can also experience a moment of discovery akin to that felt by archaeologists when they unearth objects from the past.  Archaeological investigation of these objects has, at its core, “interact[ion] with the object in hand, by tilting it in many directions to find the best lighting and viewing angles when investigating a particular detail”[16]. This is particularly true of the cuneiform tablets and bullae represented in the intervention, both classes of object of which a single perspective cannot reveal complete information or understanding.[17]  The fine details of cuneiform tablets can represent up to 600 different symbols or characters[18] arranged into complex texts.  While translation of these texts is an option only for a select few dedicated scholars, the complexity of this early writing system and the craftsmanship required to construct the tablets can be broadly appreciated.  Empowerment to see objects in the way that researchers do encourages and in-depth engagement with the artifacts and with scholarship.

New visualization techniques are not only employed to spread information about cuneiform tablets, but also to actively further knowledge of them.  The main impetus behind these new techniques is often to facilitate future research.[19]  These methods provide more efficient and objective results to facilitate the translation processes for cuneiform texts and create new opportunities for research thanks to the increased visibility of the object surface.[20]  An increased depth of vision is not only beneficial for aesthetic appreciation, but also affords even the most highly trained specialists new perspectives and opportunities for study.  The creation of digital records has the added benefit of acting as a digital safeguard,[21] preserving the textual content and complete three-dimensional morphology of original artifacts in previously unparalleled detail.

The creation of “safeguards”, whether they be digital, 3D printed, or other more traditional methods of preserving the information of an artifact, are especially important for cuneiform tablets.  Not only are individual pieces original and unique artifacts from ancient civilizations, but also as a collection the tablets comprise the earliest written record of human history.  The objects presented in this intervention are prime candidates for digital preservation and study due to their particular situation in scholarship and politics.  The collection from which the objects derive has no recorded excavation context.[22]  Without such a context, some scholars have speculated that the collection was looted from Iraq following the 1991 Gulf War.[23]  While investigations into the collection have provided no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of either the collector who purchased the tablets or that of Cornell University, the U.S. government accepted a request for repatriation by the Iraqi government and forfeiture of the entire collection is pending.[24]  The intricate details of the process of looting and repatriation and the ideological and ethical issues of cultural patrimony will not be discussed at length here, but the implications of repatriation on the recordation and preservation of artifacts brings the scientific ways of seeing that the intervention seeks to explore into sharp focus.

Only a small percentage of known cuneiform tablets have been published[25] and up to 150,000 tablets per year are looted from Iraq,[26] after which it becomes exceedingly unlikely they will ever be properly studied or published.  Study and conservation of cuneiform tablets is expensive and time consuming,[27] and so the Cornell curators in charge of the collection represented in The Modern Ancient Tablet have worked to “carefully conserve, photograph and study the tablets, publishing their work in more than 16 volumes [and counting] over six years”[28] before the collections’ repatriation to Iraq.  Digitalization of tablets through imaging and scanning (and subsequent 3D printing, in some cases) has been an important component of both study and preservation in this process.

Detailed discussion about both the original objects and new ways of seeing that interpretive tools allow shows the value in technologically advanced study and digital preservation of archaeological materials.  While The Modern Ancient Tablet primarily focuses on ways of seeing, traditional scholarship on the objects presented also yields fascinating information about the materials themselves and the broader context of their creation, even if specific information about their recovery has been lost.

CUNES 51-01-001
This cuneiform tablet was created in the Old Babylonian period at a site known from the written record as Dūr-Abiešuh, though the site’s exact location is unknown today.[29]  This tablet and others in the collection linked to the same original site can be dated to a roughly 80-year period spanning the rule of Abiešuh to his successor Samsuditana.  CUNES 51-01-001 is dated to the reign of the latter leader, who ruled from 1626-1595 BCE[30].  This particular tablet was chosen for The Modern Ancient Tablet due both to its prior study using the methods of digital interpretation that the intervention seeks to explore as well as the interesting and highly particular story that the text conveys.  Audiences see the object, both original and digital enhancements, as a finely crafted and ancient text yet only those trained to translate cuneiform tablets can access the details of its writing without the analysis of a third party.  This difference of experience itself reflects the museum way of seeing, where much of the information present in or about an object of art is obscured to non-specialist observers.  The selection of this particular tablet, therefore, speaks to the individuality of experience that each viewer brings; no matter how extensively an object is interpreted (through digital or any means) it will necessarily be read differently by every viewer.  The benefit of added comparison with a manipulable digital representation of the object is, then, both an increased understanding of scientific methods and a critical engagement with what each individual can and cannot derive from their experience of the piece.

CUNES 51-01-001 offers a businesslike account of the provisioning of a merchant to take goods to both trade and to pay the ransom for a captured man.[31]  The text, translated in its entirety, reads:

1 mina of silver, ransom for Ahunatum, the son of Elil-mansum, 0,1.0 kor of oil, worth 12 shekels of silver, to buy bitumen and 1 donkey for safe transport that Elil-mansum, the nešakkum, the son of Ursattum, gave to Šelebum, the merchant from Ibrat.  At the completion of his business venture, Šelebum, the merchant of Ibrat, will receive (an accounting of 2 ?) + ½ mina of silver for Ahunatum, the son of Enlil-mansum,, and he will repay the 12 shekels of silver, the price of the bitumen at the purchase price at the destination and he will return the donkey in good condition to his owner.  If he does not return (the donkey), he will pay the rental cost of 12? Shekels of silver, the price of bitumen at the destination. (four witnesses) [32]

Like much of the written record of the period, this tablet is businesslike in its writing.  The payment of a ransom would have been a more common occurrence at the time than in modernity, but the dispassionate writing style still seems unusual for such a circumstance to the modern reader.  The price of the ransom is also higher than others of the period, perhaps owing to the captive being the son of the local leader (nešakkum) under whom the text was written.[33]  The tablet also bears a seal belonging to Sin-mušallim, a clergyman and servant of the king who wrote the document.[34]

The depth of the textual evidence present in this artifact illustrates its dual situation as detailed explanatory text and unprovenanced archaeological artifact.  The tablet provides highly detailed information about life, commerce, and even specific individuals in the past, yet the lack of information about its source leads the location of its production to be a matter of conjecture.  Nevertheless, the object clearly belongs to an important cultural tradition and therefore instills the awe of a long and fascinating human tradition as only ancient artifacts can.

Digital Representations
The digital component of The Modern Ancient Tablet consists of a video derived from a digitized version of CUNES 51-01-001.  The digitized version of the object is interactive and manipulable; however, technological constraints[35] have led to presentation as a video recording of the author’s interaction with the file.  The digital representation is a Polynomial Texture Map (PTM), a 2d+ (or pseudo-3D) rendering of the original object surface.[36]  The representation was created through use of a specially designed lighting rig and digital camera, which records images of the artifact that allow for re-lighting and image enhancements.[37]  The representation presented in The Modern Ancient Tablet was produced by Karel Van Lerberghe using the Leuven Light Dome, a hemispherical dome of 256 white LED lights with camera mount at center.[38]  This device allows for the rapid acquisition of photos with known light sources, which can be digitally combined and then create photometric stereo reconstructions of the object’s surface.[39]

The Leuven Light Dome system creates both photorealistic and non-photorealistic digitized versions, both of which are employed in The Modern Ancient Tablet.  The photorealistic version is presented in full color and allows for the movement of a digital light source across the object’s surface in order to accentuate the fine details of indentations inscribed onto it.  Non-photorealistic versions include a simplified line drawing of the object’s surface, modes of enhanced shading and enhanced surface curvature, and reconstructions of the object in 3D and an artificially colored representation of that reconstruction.[40]

Each of these digital objects presents a different way of seeing the original artifact.  In a pioneering work on the subject of ways of seeing Berger notes, “the way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe.”[41]   The digital representations employed in The Modern Ancient Tablet expand these ways of seeing by creating a more robust knowledge of both the visible and morphological aspects of ancient artifacts. This expanded knowledge is, importantly, an experiential knowledge; new interpretive tools allow viewers to make their own discoveries of an object and therefore to explore their own meanings within them.[42]  In some ways these representations seek to recreate the experience of viewing the artifact in hand, particularly the traditional mode of study that requires tilting the object to find ideal lighting and viewing angles to investigate each particular detail.[43]  Conceiving of the process of viewing itself as a method of study is a departure from norms that often emphasize the written word as the heart of scholarship.[44]  This visual aspect of the digital representation allows for study of the object in absentia, an important ability given the rarity, isolation, fragility, and tricky political situation that characterize much of the cuneiform record.  The non-photorealistic ways of seeing seek to enhance traditional methods of study and observation by creating portrayals that are metrically accurate, yet which extend beyond human capacities.  These enhancements seek to serve as “enabling technology” [45] that creates opportunity for new insight and investigation.

CUNES 52-11-031
CUNES 52-11-031 is a different type of ancient Mesopotamian artifact: a bulla rather than a cuneiform tablet.  Though it is on loan from the same collection as CUNES 51-01-001, the bulla comes from a different time period and, presumably, location.[46] Bullae represent the record keeping technology that preceded cuneiform tablets.[47]  Bullae are hollow clay envelopes used to seal counting tokens, which would in turn represent the number and type of object being recorded.[48]  These envelopes would be broken open at their final destination and the tokens accounted for.  Preservation of sealed bullae is a rare phenomenon, due to their fragility and their typically unfired clay composition.  The bulla included in The Modern Ancient Tablet has not yet been academically published, but is known to have been created sometime in the 4th millennium BCE.[49]  The rarity of intact, sealed bullae necessitates scientific ways of seeing to accurately view and measure the artifact’s contents without damaging the envelope.  The exterior of the objects can be scanned by a variety of methods, but the interiors were accessed through CT scanning.[50]  Cornell researchers, led by Dr. David Owen, created both interior and exterior scans of many objects from the University’s cuneiform collection.  These digital 3D scans were then printed by the ZCorp color 3D printing service.[51]

3D prints
The 3D prints included in The Modern Ancient Tablet represent both exterior and interior replicas of original objects.  The former comprise two 3D prints of the exterior of a cuneiform tablet and the latter consist of three 3D prints representing both the interior space of a sealed bulla and examples of tokens found inside that type of artifact.  3D models have become established as teaching aids and been shown to enhance learning experiences for general and special needs students.[52]  3D prints of cuneiform tablets and other archaeological artifacts can be particularly useful as teaching aids given the need to protect and conserve these classes of object and the great difficulty required for them to travel.[53]  Archaeological materials can also be interpreted or enhanced in this process, such as with changes in color, material and size.  The fully scanned tablet in The Modern Ancient Tablet, for example, is 3D printed at both original and double scale.  Interior scans can be printed in order to facilitate physical investigation and haptic experience of previously inaccessible artifacts or components thereof.

3D prints also straddle the line between physical object and digital representation like no other media.  The prints themselves exist in three dimensions, but the digital files from which they are produced can be transferred electronically across the globe instantly and at no cost.  Indeed, some scans of the collection utilized in The Modern Ancient Tablet are freely available through the Cornell Creative Machines Lab and can be reproduced by any interested party.  While the prints displayed in the intervention are all plastics (namely, chlorinated polyvinyl chloride), expanding capabilities allow for reproduction in an ever-growing number of materials, including ceramic.  As this technology develops both the form and material of 3D prints will be increasingly more realistic and therefor of increasing utility to researchers and enthusiast of ancient artifacts.

Conclusion
The Modern Ancient Tablet brings together methods of seeing ranging from the 4th millennium BCE to the cutting edge of modern technology.  This range is not, however, unique to this intervention among museums displaying ancient artifacts.  Museumgoers must frequently negotiate a variety of methods of display, types of media, and degrees of knowledge.  By addressing these issues explicitly, The Modern Ancient Tablet attempts to facilitate critical engagement among viewers of a particular type of artifact—Mesopotamian recording technologies—with the complexities of the ways of seeing that museums create.  This critical engagement is also steeped in information on methods of investigation afforded to these objects and the ways in which different views create different experiences.  Ultimately, this intervention hopes to inspire reflection in a newly educated public; reflection that will itself lead to a greater appreciation of both cuneiform tablets and the myriad other treasures of an art museum.

Notes
[1] Wallenfels, Ronald, and Jack M. Sasson, eds. “Cuneiform.” In The Ancient Near East: An Encyclopedia for Students. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2000), 19.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Willems, G., et al., “Easy and cost-effective cuneiform digitizing”, in: M. Mudge, N. Ryan & R. Scopigno (eds.) The 6th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (VAST 2005), Pisa 2005, 73.

[4]Hameeuw, Hendrik. & Geert Willems, “New Visualization Techniques for Cuneiform Texts and Sealings”, in: Akkadica 132/2, 2011, 163.

[5] The Modern Ancient Tablet is a curatorial intervention installed at Cornell University’s Johnson Museum of Art, for which this essay serves as research basis and theoretical justification.

[6]So called for its creation prior to the reign of Sargon the Great, who conquered and consolidated the cities of Sumeria in the 23rd and 22nd centuries BC.

[7]Monaco, Salvatore. Archaic Bullae and Tablets in the Cornell University Collections.  Bethesda, Md.: CDL Press, 2014.

[8] See: Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. London; New York: British Broadcasting Corp., Penguin Books, 1977.; Colburn, Forest. “From Pre-Columbian Artifact to Pre-Columbian Art.” Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University 64 (2005): 36–41.; Ramírez, Mari Carmen, “Brokering Identities: Art Curators and the Politics of Cultural Representation,” in Thinking About Exhibitions, ed. Reesa Greenberg, Bruce W. Ferguson and Sandy Nairne (London: Routledge, 1996), 21-38.; Berlo, Janet Catherine,  Ruth B. Phillips, Carol Duncan, Donald Preziosi, Danielle Rice, and Anne Rorimer. “The Problematics of Collecting and Display, Part 1.” The Art Bulletin 77, no. 1 (1995): 6–24.

[9]Alpers, Svetlana, “The Museum as a Way of Seeing,” in Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display, ed. Ivan Karp and Steven D. Lavine (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991): 27.

[10]Alpers, “The Museum as a Way of Seeing,” 27.

[11]Havemann S., V. Settgast, D. Fellner, G. Willems, L. Van Gool, G. Müller, M. Schneider, R. Klein, “The Presentation of Cultural Heritage Models in Epoch”, in: Proceedings of EPOCH Open Digital Cultural Heritage Systems Conference, Congresso Rospigliosi, Rome, 25-26, February 2008, Rome 2008. 1.

[12]Havemann et al., “The Presentation of Cultural Heritage Models in Epoch”, 1.

[13] Dearing, George. “The Future Of 3D Printing.” Forbes. Accessed April 28, 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/capitalonespark/2014/04/23/the-future-of-3d-printing/.

[14] Ibid.

[15]Havemann et al., “The Presentation of Cultural Heritage Models in Epoch”, 1.

[16] Hameeuw and Willems, “New Visualization Techniques for Cuneiform Texts and Sealings”, 163.

[17]Willems, G., et al., “Easy and cost-effective cuneiform digitizing”, 1.

[18]Wallenfels and Sasson, The Ancient Near East, 20

[19] Hameeuw and Willems, “New Visualization Techniques for Cuneiform Texts and Sealings”, 173.

[20]Ibid., 175.

[21] Ibid., 176.

[22] Lerberghe, Karel van, Gabriela Voet, and Hendrik Hameeuw. A Late Old Babylonian Temple Archive from Dūr-Abiešuḫ. Bethesda, Md.: CDL Press, 2009, V.

[23] Felch, Jason. “Cornell to Return 10,000 Ancient Tablets to Iraq.” Los Angeles Times, November 3, 2013.

[24] Felch, “Cornell to Return 10,000 Ancient Tablets to Iraq.”

[25] Willems, G., et al., “Easy and cost-effective cuneiform digitizing”, 1.

[26] Felch, “Cornell to Return 10,000 Ancient Tablets to Iraq.”

[27] Willems, G., et al., “Easy and cost-effective cuneiform digitizing”, 1.

[28] Felch, “Cornell to Return 10,000 Ancient Tablets to Iraq.”

[29] Lerberghe, Voet, and Hameeuw. A Late Old Babylonian Temple Archive from Dūr-Abiešuḫ, 1.  The site is known to have been a fort that lied somewhere along the Tigris River in modern day Iraq, apparently near the ancient Mesopotamian city of Nippur.

[30] Lerberghe, Voet, and Hameeuw. A Late Old Babylonian Temple Archive from Dūr-Abiešuḫ, xi.

[31] Lerberghe, Voet, and Hameeuw. A Late Old Babylonian Temple Archive from Dūr-Abiešuḫ, 48.

[32] Ibid., 48.

[33] Ibid., 49.

[34] Ibid., 49.

[35]The digitized version exists as a .cun file, a specifically designed format for the display of cuneiform tablets.  At present the software to view these files is not compatible with Apple iPads of the type employed in the intervention.

[36]Willems, G., et al., “Easy and cost-effective cuneiform digitizing”, 2.

[37]Ibid., 2.

[38]Ibid., 3.

[39]Ibid., 3.  Photometric stereo “allows the estimation of local surface orientation by using several images of the same surface taken from the same viewpoint but under illumination coming from different directions”.  With the established orientation of every surface on an artifact, representations can be analyzed in depth and altered based on highly accurate reconstructions.

[40]This last version, referred to as “normals”, exaggerates the slopes of indentations on the object by displaying them in bright colors.

[41] Berger. Ways of Seeing, 8.

[42] Dyke, Ruth M. Van. “Seeing the Past: Visual Media in Archaeology.” American Anthropologist 108, no. 2 (June 1, 2006): 373.

[43]Hameeuw and Willems, “New Visualization Techniques for Cuneiform Texts and Sealings”, 163.

[44] Yanow, Dvora.  “Methodological Ways of Seeing and Knowing”, Forthcoming in Part 3, ‘Visual Methodologies and Methods’, The Routledge Companion to Visual Organization Eds. Emma Bell, Samantha Warren, and Jonathan E. Schroeder.  Though Yanow speaks mostly of ‘organizational studies’, logocentrism is certainly present much more broadly in scholarship.

[45]Havemann et al., “The Presentation of Cultural Heritage Models in Epoch”, 1.

[46]Owing to the unclear origination of the collection the finds spot of the artifact is unknown.  However, the drastically different time range assures that the bulla and the tablet could not be directly related.

[47]Wallenfels, Ronald, and Jack M. Sasson, eds. “Clay Tablets.” In The Ancient Near East: An Encyclopedia for Students. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2000), 1-3.

[48]Ibid., 2.

[49] Monaco, Salvatore. Archaic Bullae and Tablets in the Cornell University Collections. Bethesda, Md.: CDL Press, 2014.

[50]CT Scanning, or Computed Tomography, uses computer processed x-rays to build models of the interior of an object without opening it.

[51] Ju, Anne. “Researchers Replicate Rare Cuneiform Tablets Using 3-D Scanning and Printing.” Accessed April 19, 2014.

[52]Knapp M., Wolff R., Lipson H. (2008), “Developing printable content: A repository for printable teaching models”, Proceedings of the 19th Annual Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, Austin TX, Aug 2008.

[53]Ibid.

Works Cited
Alpers, Svetlana, “The Museum as a Way of Seeing,” in Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display, ed. Ivan Karp and Steven D. Lavine (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991): 25-32.

Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. London; New York: British Broadcasting Corp. ; Penguin Books, 1977.

Berlo, Janet Catherine,  Ruth B. Phillips, Carol Duncan, Donald Preziosi, Danielle Rice, and Anne Rorimer. “The Problematics of Collecting and Display, Part 1.” The Art Bulletin 77, no. 1 (1995): 6–24.

Dyke, Ruth M. Van. “Seeing the Past: Visual Media in Archaeology.” American Anthropologist 108, no. 2 (June 1, 2006): 370–75.

Felch, Jason. “Cornell to Return 10,000 Ancient Tablets to Iraq.” Los Angeles Times, November 3, 2013. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-iraq-tablets-cornell-university-20131103,0,630650,full.story#axzz2jslh0jno.

Forrest D. Colburn, “From Pre-Columbian Artifact to Pre-Columbian Art.” Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University 64 (2005): 36–41.

Havemann S., V. Settgast, D. Fellner, G. Willems, L. Van Gool, G. Müller, M. Schneider, R. Klein, The Presentation of Cultural Heritage Models in Epoch, in: Proceedings of EPOCH Open Digital Cultural Heritage Systems Conference, Congresso Rospigliosi, Rome, 25-26, February 2008, Rome. 2008.

Hameeuw, Hendrik & Geert Willems, New Visualization Techniques for Cuneiform Texts and Sealings, in: Akkadica 132/2, 2011, 163-178.

Ju, Anne. “Researchers Replicate Rare Cuneiform Tablets Using 3-D Scanning and Printing.” Accessed April 19, 2014. http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2011/05/3-d-printers-make-replicas-cuneiform-tablets.

Knapp M., Wolff R., and Lipson H., “Developing printable content: A repository for printable teaching models”, Proceedings of the 19th Annual Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, Austin TX, Aug 2008.

Lerberghe, Karel van, Gabriela Voet, and Hendrik Hameeuw. A Late Old Babylonian Temple Archive from Dūr-Abiešuḫ. Bethesda, Md.: CDL Press, 2009.

Monaco, Salvatore. Archaic Bullae and Tablets in the Cornell University Collections.  Bethesda, Md.: CDL Press, 2014.

Ramírez, Mari Carmen. “Brokering Identities: Art Curators and the Politics of Cultural Representation,” in Thinking About Exhibitions, ed. Reesa Greenberg, Bruce W. Ferguson and Sandy Nairne (London: Routledge, 1996), 21-38.

Wallenfels, Ronald, and Jack M. Sasson, eds. “Cuneiform.” In The Ancient Near East: An Encyclopedia for Students. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2000), 19-23.

Wallenfels, Ronald, and Jack M. Sasson, eds. “Clay Tablets.” In The Ancient Near East: An Encyclopedia for Students. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2000), 1-3.

Willems, G., F. Verbiest, W. Moreau, H. Hameeuw, K. Van Lerberghe & L. Van Gool, Easy and cost-effective cuneiform digitizing, in: M. Mudge, N. Ryan & R. Scopigno (eds.) The 6th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (VAST 2005), Pisa 2005, 73-80.

Yanow, Dvora.  “Methodological Ways of Seeing and Knowing”, Forthcoming in Part 3, ‘Visual Methodologies and Methods’, The Routledge Companion to Visual

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