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Priceless Archives Photograph by Kenneth Garrett
Discovered in the tomb of a predynastic king, bone and ivory tags bear administrative records more than 5,000 years old—some of the earliest writing yet known. As interpreted by Günter Dreyer, the number of strokes on each tablet in the upper row records the size of a piece of fabric, with one stroke equal to one square cubit (about two and a quarter square feet). At left a bird and a mountain symbolize the sunlight that emerges in the east every morning. And at right two symbols show the origin of delivered goods—a tree stands for "agricultural estate"; a dog identifies the estate's founder.
Photo Fast Facts
Camera: Nikon F5 Film Type: Fujichrome 64 Lens: Nikkor 200mm, f/4 micro Speed and F-Stop: One second @ f/16
Weather Conditions: Indoors Time of Day: Midday Lighting Techniques: Tungsten