ivy on wet brick, sock rings around ankles, loose lips on tired arms, orange juice with pulp, sourdough appetizers, headlights on dark rainy pavement, pressed leaves in wax paper, tires like static on gravel
The earliest form of printing: Akkadian Stamp of the Builder of the Temple of Ishtar, Naram-Sîn, from Akkad, Sumer c. 2291-2254 BC
A royal inscription on a clay and gold stamp in Sumerian cuneiform, it reads:
NARAM-SÎN WHO BUILT THE TEMPLE OF ISHTAR
There are three more brick stamps of the Akkadian King Naram-Sîn with the same text known: one in the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, one in the Kalamazoo Public Library, Michigan and a tiny fragment in the British Museum. Naram-Sîn was the first king to use blocks for printing bricks. Prior to him the inscriptions on the bricks were written by hand. These 3 brick stamps with the known bricks, are the earliest evidence of printing, in this case blindprinting on soft clay.
Naram-Sîn was the third successor and grandson of King Sargon of Akkad. Under Naram-Sîn the Akkadian Empire reached its zenith. He was the first Mesopotamian king known to have claimed divinity for himself, and one of the first to be called “King of the Four Quarters.” There is an inscription on the Bassetki Statue from the reign of Naram-Sîn with an inscription mentioning the construction of a temple in Akkad after he had crushed a revolt against his rule. (Perhaps this is the the temple mentioned on the stamp?) The Bassetki Statue was looted from the Iraq Museum during the 2003 invasion of Iraq but subsequently retrieved and returned to the museum.
Akkad was the capital of the Akkadian Empire, which was the dominant political force in Mesopotamia at the end of the third millennium BC. The existence of Akkad is known only from textual sources; its location has not yet been identified, although scholars have proposed a number of different sites. Most recent proposals point to a location east of the Tigris.