Hurrian Hymn no. 6
Musical notation on clay, but what does it say?
story by Mark Eertink
Fascinating artefacts have surfaced from beneath the sands of the Middle East. Archaeological items tell us how people lived, art tells us what they looked like, and written texts tell us what they thought and felt. Some of these tablets tell us about yet another part of the human experience: music. This musical tablet found in Ugarit exhibits what is probably the oldest written melody in the world. Exactly how we should interpret the signs is still heavily debated, and some theories are more popular than others. So what could it have sounded like?