A newly translated tablet from the area of present-day Iraq runs through a series of riddles which show that even in 1,BC, people liked a puzzle. Modern audiences, though, should not expect to have their sides split - or indeed to solve any of the riddles, which are rather tricky the riddles and their solutions are below.
Cuneiform script as seen in a clay tablet, found at Tell-El-Amarna, Egypt: The location of the tablet of riddles is not known, and the study authors worked from a transcription from Constantly stared at you. The measuring vessel of your lord. The riddle refers to a shaft of light hitting the ground. He gouged out the eye. It is not the fate of a dead man. He cut the throat: A dead man - who is it? A governor - the joke here could be that a governor is portrayed as executioner. The two rudest riddles have missing answers - or ones that don't make sense.
The undeflowered girl became pregnant. The term for a group of soldiers is puzzling here, says Wasserman. Perhaps thankfully, this answer has been lost. Few riddles in the Akkadian language survive. It was commonly used by the ancient Babylonians and other civilisations around the area of present-day Iraq.
The tablet dates to the time of the Biblical Exodus, and is thought to have been written near the Persian Gulf. It was written in cuneiform script. The text has large parts missing, and also appears to have been carved by an inexperienced scribe. The authors suspect that the scribe might have lived near the Persian Gulf. The find is all the more remarkable because the tablet itself might well be lost. The museum the tablet was housed in was pillaged during the invasion.
The tablet was transcribed and published in by J J Van Dijk. The researchers used his transcript for their translation.
The location of the tablet is currently unknown - although the researchers say that it is small and does not look valuable, so they have not given up hope that looters might simply have ignored it.
I very much hope that it is still there. The cuneiform script used in the tablet was widely used in Babylon at the time. The scribe who created it is thought to have lived near the Persian gulf Share or comment on this article: Tablet full of crude jokes and riddles about beer is found - dating from the time of the biblical Exodus Most watched News videos.