Do any fedi friends have access to a theological library?
I'm trying to find someone to help me get a photocopy of a page or two from this book:
It allegedly contains a photo of a cuneiform tablet which records history's oldest joke.
As a clown, I need a copy. :)
I'm also interested in having a copy of the book, though it seems to be looooooong out of print.
Any help, including boosts, appreciated!
@RussSharek there's a Twitter that linked to digitizing of sumerian texts regularly... I might be able to dig them up again.
@RussSharek failing that, I have access to a library that purports to contain it and wouldn't mind looking for the relevant page.
@RussSharek not taking any of the offered courses on sumerian was one of my regrets in my time here. :)
I can imagine it would be interesting, and you'd have an excuse to make cuneiform tablets.
I'd appreciate any help you are willing to offer on finding the tablet in question. I'm attaching a copy of the joke someone re-cuneiform'ed (is that a word).
Would love to have a photo of the original, and any backing information.
Dr. Alster was an esteemed Assyrian scholar. May he Rest In Peace.
- simple search ‘Alster’
- for pictures of tablets… more info on Wiki page:
-from journal ‘Iraq’ - published by The British Institute for the Study of Iraq 2012. Streck & Wasserman tackled cuneiform translation issues and cite Alster
Below is an article re alleged jokes
Hmmm,.. I don’t know Russ
Something tells me that this proverb is certified fake… cuneiform inscriptions and all!
Where did you find this?
This is one of those that keeps coming up for me. I finally decided to buckle down and research "the world's oldest joke" a bit and got just enough leads to re-ignite this thread. I've been at least able to verify that the proverb exists, and was listed in Alster's out-of-print book.
If I end a decade-long mystery by getting to play internet sleuth with smart people all over the world over a mistranslated cuneiform fart joke I'll still consider it a worthy bit of research.
It hasn't been a full-time search.
Periodically someone sees a comedy or a clown thing, and sends it my way along with a message that says it made them think of me. I'm always flattered, and a few times it's led to interesting adventures like this ongoing research project.
I had bubkis for a year on this one until a couple of days ago, when a friend who knows about the tablet story found a legit reference to it...and the rest is this thread. :)
I've wanted a photo of the original tablet to frame over my desk.
I thought it would be a nice reminder that, in all these years, the job of comedy hasn't changed that much.
Who needs Netflix when we have you Russ ?! 😆
You’re like a brother from another mother ! Mad respect! 🙌🏼
Happy to help provide a little entertainment.
If you really want to have some fun conversations, look for my posts about circus practice jitsi calls. :)
I noticed that a majority of CDLI links lead to…nothing
What’s the big secret around here ?? Academic snobbery ruffles my freaking feathers !! 😤
And what’s with Iraq “losing” tablets?? The buffoonery !!
Wow ! 🙄
I haven't had a twitter account in a few years now. Mind giving them a ping?
I've been fascinated that this has been an easy to find-out-about thing, but so difficult to actually find thing.
@RussSharek They only had Alster's 'Wisdom of Ancient Sumer' (2005), which it isn't in. I'll check at the library.
Yeah, frustrating point of confusion. It's in Proverbs of Ancient Sumer from 1997, and I really appreciate you looking for me.
@RussSharek maybe it is that, that you looking for :
@RussSharek I have both a physical copy available in our library at work, and apparently access to it online (checking now).
The joys of working at an Academic Library :)
@RussSharek Oh scratch the online copy, it's actually in the references of some other book by Ruth Finnegan.
But I still have access to the physical copy.
I'm impressed that I got this far. Any chance you'd be willing to look for the tablet in question, or references to it?
@RussSharek I'm in the office on Tuesday (it's currently Sunday night). So I'll try to remember to pop over to the central library and scan the relevant pages :)
@RussSharek my initial perusal of the photographs in the book seems to suggest several are missing, compared with the text collection, and it looks like the proverb you’re after is one of them :-(
I’ll keep trying to decode the mystical references though in case I’m mistaken.
@RussSharek however, the tiny photo on this site, may be it.
@RussSharek i also found this reference, no photo though in a google books search.
@RussSharek and according to the museum index, the Museum Numbers for the three fragments you are interested in are: Ni 9084 + 4085 + 4432 SP 1 A.
Ni is for the Nippur Collection of the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul.
It definitely appears this tome does not have the photo you are after though.
@RussSharek The email address for the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul is: email@example.com
Maybe they have and would be willing to share, a hi-res photo of the pieces previously noted.
The amount of research you've done here is absolutely amazing, and I cannot thank you enough. As soon as I have a moment, I'll put together a coherent email and send it off to Istanbul in hopes of completing the journey.
Thank you again for everything!
This one has been with me a while, and only recently did I get enough clues to even ask for help.
Thank you for the link!
I was already sourcing the same list.
Unfortunately, I hit two stumbling blocks:
1. Where I am is a little...covid-y...for visiting universities right now.
2. Said places are also famously not-keen on granting public access to their shelves.
Thankfully, a couple of academic-adjacent fedi-friends said they'd take a look for me next week.
Mastodon.ART — Your friendly creative home on the Fediverse! Interact with friends and discover new ones, all on a platform that is community-owned and ad-free. Admin: @Curator. Moderators: @EmergencyBattle, @ScribbleAddict, @TapiocaPearl, @Otherbuttons, @katwylder