Accounting in Proto-Cuneiform

Robert K. Englund

in The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199557301
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

Accounting in Proto-Cuneiform

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  • Classical Studies
  • Historical Archaeology



This article examines the accounting methods in proto-cuneiform during the archaic period. It discusses the importance of archaic numerical and metrological systems as elements of social control and explains the use of accounting method in writing by providing examples drawn from grain administration archives. The proto-cuneiform administrative documentation can be divided into the two major bookkeeping types known from later periods in Babylonia, namely into primary and secondary documents.

Keywords: accounting methods; proto-cuneiform; archaic period; archaic numerical systems; archaic metrological system; social control; grain administration; bookkeeping

Article.  5438 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Historical Archaeology

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