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Cuneiform Tablet

Account of Rations for Six Persons
Working as Messengers for the City Governor

Mesopotamia, Umma.
ca. 2040 B.C.
x 3.23

This tablet was taken by astronaut Sonny Carter, an Emory University alumnus, on the November 1989 mission of the space shuttle Discovery as part of NASA's Object in Space Program. Representing the oldest human artifact to have traveled in space, the cuneiform writing on the tablet lists rations for 6 messengers undertaking a journey:

Here is the translation:

For Bama: 5 quarts beer; 5 quarts bread; 5 ounces onions; 3 ounces oil; 2 ounces alkali

For Baza: the menial: same amount

For Lugal-sazu: same amount

For Su-Esdar: 10 quarts beer; 10 quarts bread; 5 ounces onions; 3 ounces oil; 2 ounces alkali

For Mas: 5 quarts beer; 5 quarts bread; 5 ounces (onions); 3 ounces oil; 2 ounces alkali

For Ubarum: 3 quarts beer; 2 quarts bread; 56 ounces (onions); 3 ounces oil; 2 ounces alkali

Day; 24 Year: Huhnuri was raided (=Amar-Suen 7, 2040 B.C.)


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