is now available for Android mobile devices
! Focusing on the cultural heritage of ancient Mesopotamia, the app combines text and images documenting three millennia of human activity that includes the earliest recorded development of trade, mathematics, and astronomy. Users will follow the application of the law of an eye for an eye by the Old Babylonian king Hammurapi, and will relive the exploits of Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Striking images of selected cuneiform texts and related artifacts are placed in their historical setting with short narratives prepared by experts in the languages and archaeology of the ancient Near East, but also by college students approaching a distant world with fresh eyes.
Sponsored by the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI
) based at UCLA
's Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
, cdli tablet
, inspired by the elegantly simple “guardian eyewitness” (sadly disbanded in 2014 and merged in the general Guardian app
), was originally created in 2013 as an iPad
app by then UCLA Computer Science graduate student Sai Deep Tetali and Assyriology Professor Robert K. Englund. In 2017, Prashant Rajput, UCLA CS graduate student, and Altaf Shaikh, mobile developer, built an improved version for tablets and smartphones running with Android (laptop and PC users can still scroll through the entries here
). With its daily update of entries written to follow particular themes in Babylonian history—topics ranging from the origins of writing 3500 years before the time of Christ to current efforts to digitally preserve and globally disseminate Mesopotamia’s cultural heritage—the app will appeal to diverse learning communities of all ages and levels of interest.
Cuneiformists, archaeologists, art historians, curators and related specialists who have an intimate acquaintance with ancient Near Eastern artifacts and digitally preserved collections are invited to contribute future entries to our cdli tablet calendar; we offer easy-to-follow steps
to prepare files that will introduce a general and interested public to the fascinating sources they work with.