ha - am - mu - ra - bi*

iClay [1]

3D Cuneiform Tablets on the Web

Rotate and read all sides of this 4000 year old cuneiform tablet using iClay, the world's first 3D cuneiform tablet viewer for the Internet.

This particular 3D surface scan is of a daily ration tablet from the Third Dynasty of Ur, in ancient Babylonia, 2000 BC [2].

Digital Hammurabi's goal is to make the world's oldest written documents available to everyone over the World Wide Web.

In this initial release of iClay, you can rotate the tablet, change the direction of the lighting, and alter the accessibility shading [3]. Many more features are planned for future releases of iClay.


[1] iClay is a 3D hardware-accelerated Java applet programmed by Dean Snyder, integrating 3D algorithms contributed by Dr. Michael Kazhdan, Dr. Jonathan Cohen, Dr. Subodh Kumar, Budirijanto Purnomo, Yuan Chen, John Graettinger, and Matthew Bolitho of the Johns Hopkins University Computer Science Graphics Lab.

[2] This tiny tablet, about the size of a U.S. quarter, records one day's rations of beer, bread, garlic, oil, and soap for eight imperial messengers at a way station in the province of Umma in the empire of the Third Dynasty of Ur. The Third Dynasty of Ur controlled most of present-day Iraq and parts of western Iran from about 2100 BC to 2000 BC. Known from the Old Testament as "Ur of the Chaldees", Ur is a major archeological site in southern Iraq. Umma, northeast of Ur, has been the scene of intensive looting in the last 20 years.

[3] Accessibility shading computes the maximum radius of a sphere that can fit in each depression, thereby approximating how much light reaches inside. The narrower the area, the darker it appears.