National Geographic : 1916 Feb
his ziziktu, which was a cord attached to an under garment. This, in all prob ability, is to be identified with the sizith mentioned in the Old Testament (Num. 15:38, 39), and even at the present time worn by orthodox He brews. BABYLONIAN "STENOGRA PHERS" In all periods scribes are very numerous. This is inferred from the fact that in some periods almost every document is found to have been written by a different scribe. In the Assyrian period women are known to have be longed to this profession. The scribes wrote the legal documents, as well as the private letters of individuals. They even placed the seal impression upon the legal document, in proximity to which they wrote the name of Photograph from Prof. Albert T. Clay A WRITTEN RECORD AT LEAST 7,000 YEARS OLD This is the Hoffman Tablet, in the General Theological Sem nary, New York City. This is one of the most ancient of all human writings. To assign it the date of 5000 B. C. would be a modest reckoning (see text, page 166). the person to whom it belonged, usually the obligor or the witness. In the time of Hammurabi (about 2000 B. C.) there was at hand an officer called the Burgul, who was prepared to cut temporary seals upon a soft material for those who did not possess them. This is the custom in Oriental lands in the pres ent day. In Constantinople, for instance, the curbs of certain streets are lined with scribes prepared to write for the illiter ate. An occasional man among them is provided with little blank stamps in soft brass, and with an engraving tool is pre pared to cut the signature or initials of the man upon one of them while he waits. The impression of the stamp is affixed to his letter in place of his signature. THE "CONGRESSIONAL LIBRARY" O NINEVEH The cuneiform inscriptions in clay, stone, and metal that now repose in mu seums and in private collections number hundreds of thousands. Several ancient libraries and immense archives have been found. Years ago the literary library of Ashurbanipal (668 626 B. C.) was discovered at Nineveh. It appeared to the excavators that the library had been deposited in the upper chambers of the palace, and that when the building was destroyed they fell through to the lower floors, where they were found in masses. The inscriptions showed that they had been arranged according to their subject in different positions in the library. Each series had a title, being composed gener ally of the first words of the first tablet. Usually at the end of each tablet its num ber in the series was given. In the library were found epics, re ligious, astrological and magical texts, chronicles, paradigms, syllabaries, etc. This is the only library that has been found in Babylonia or Assyria which can be regarded as a literary library, where efforts had been made to assemble lit erary and other works produced at times not necessarily connected with the era to which the library belonged.