[Humanist] 26.880 clay storage

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Mar 15 08:21:25 CET 2013


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 880.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org



        Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2013 10:30:36 +0000
        From: Daniel Allington <daniel.allington at open.ac.uk>
        Subject: Re:  26.876 medicine, graphic-novel style; clay storage
        In-Reply-To: <20130314074038.978BFE4A at digitalhumanities.org>


On 14 Mar 2013, at 07:40, Humanist Discussion Group wrote:
> 
> 
> --[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
>        Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2013 08:12:20 -0400
>        From: "Dr. Robert Delius Royar PhD" <r.royar at moreheadstate.edu>
>        Subject: Re:  26.874 clay storage and human memory
>        In-Reply-To: <20130313063043.093B32DC4 at digitalhumanities.org>
> 
...

> A medium has longevity if the conditions under which it is stored are unlikely to degrade the medium. How long would clay survive exposed to the humidity of a temperate climate? 
> 
...

> -- 
> Robert Delius Royar               Department of English
> Morehead State University     r.royar at moreheadstate.edu

Yes. And it's perhaps worth remembering that the Sumerians used clay as a medium because of affordances that had nothing to do with longevity: they used to leave the tablets unfired, then soak and re-use them when the stored information was no longer needed. For the most part, the tablets that have survived are simply those that - for one reason or another - failed to be recycled. It's pure serendipity that environmental conditions preserved them for so long.

Daniel Allington
Centre for Language and Communication
The Open University

-- 
The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).





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