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Wax tablet with intricate ancient lettering that was once used by Egyptian child to go on display

The 1,800-year-old Greek handwriting homework: Wax tablet with intricate ancient lettering that was once used by an Egyptian child around 200AD will finally go on display after 40 years

  • Wax tablet, discovered in Egypt, is to go on show for the first time in 40 years
  • Writing from 1,800 years ago contains the Greek lettering of a young child
  • It will go on display at British Library in the Writing: Making Your Mark exhibition

A wax tablet displaying a child’s Greek homework from 1,800 years ago is to be put on show at the British Library.

The ancient tablet, which contains remarkable examples of handwriting, spelling exercises and times tables, has been in storage for the past 40 years. 

It will now go on display at the British Library as part of the Writing: Making Your Mark exhibition between April 26 and August 27.

The ancient tablet, which contains remarkable examples of handwriting, spelling exercises and times tables, has been in storage for the past 40 years

The homework, discovered in Egypt, shows two lines of Greek carved into the wax with a stylus by a child believed to be eight or nine, the Telegraph reported.

Roly Keating, chief executive of the British Library, said: ‘This is one which I think we’d slightly forgotten about. It certainly hasn’t been seen in the public since the Seventies.

‘This is a child’s homework, a primary school kid in the second century AD in Egypt, and their writing is still on this little tablet, which is about the size of an iPad mini.

‘That takes your breath away because you can see a child’s attempt at Greek from 1,800 years ago.’ 

The Writing: Making Your Mark exhibition will also contain extracts from Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks

An extract of Canterbury Tales from 1470 will also be on display at the British Library

The Writing: Making Your Mark exhibition will also contain extracts from Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks (left) and a printing of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales from 1470 (right)

It is believed the tablet would have been used with a stylus that had a pointed end for writing and a flat end which could be heated up and used to melt mistakes from the wax.

The surviving lines of lettering are from a quote the young child had been copying out. It reads: ‘You should accept advice only from a wise man.’ 

The interactive exhibition, priced at £14 for adults and £7 for students and children over 12, will contain more than 100 objects from five continents.

A petition against the first partition of Bengal from 1905 which will go on show next year at the British Library

A petition against the first partition of Bengal from 1905 which will go on show next year at the British Library

This Chinese typewriter will also be one of more than 100 objects from five continents on display

This Chinese typewriter will also be one of more than 100 objects from five continents on display

This collection will bridge more than 5,000 years as it takes the viewer on a journey of how humankind came to write.

These will include James Joyce’s annotated copy of Ulysses and a 60,000 strong petition against Bengali partition.

Also on show will be extracts from Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks, tattooing instruments and a printing of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales from 1470.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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