(WATCH JERUSALEM) Going, going, gone—for $235,000 (nearly ?800,000)! That was the price paid at London-based Bloomsbury Auctions this summer for a small, roughly 7-centimeter-square block of clay, sold by the famous Norwegian antiquities collector Martin Schøyen—after a fierce bidding war nearly doubled the price he had hoped to receive.
Of course, this was more than just a square of clay. Dubbed the “world’s first signature,” this piece is dated to around 3000 b.c.e., and was discovered in the ancient Sumerian city of Uruk (southern Iraq). The item contains the “autograph” of an individual, said to be the “first recorded personal name of any human in history,” as well as a reference to beer-making (beer was first discovered in the Sumerian kingdom). The tablet is translated as follows:
"29,086 measures of barley, 37 months. Kushim"
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