A salt paper print photograph entitled 'Cuneiform Clay Tablet', taken by Roger Fenton, c. 1854.
The photograph shows a stone tablet, engraved with Cuneiform script an early form of writing that originated around the 34th century BCE. The tablet was excavated at Kuyunjik, within the ruins of the ancient city of Nineveh, now in Iraq.
In 1853 the British Museum asked Fenton to document parts of their collection and establish a photographic studio at the museum. Dozens of objects had to be carried up to the rooftop studio, and Fenton had to devise a way using the available light effectively, one answer was to place his camera in a box with curtains, which acted as a lens hood. Fenton went on to take many photographs of classical busts, skeletons, Assyrian tablets and other works of art at the museum.
- Object Number:
- salt print
- object genre
- National Media Museum, Bradford
- Permanent collection
- National Science and Media Museum
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.