“cdli tablet” is now on Android! Focusing on the cultural heritage of ancient Mesopotamia, the app combines text and images documenting three millennia of human activity that includes the development of trade, mathematics, and astronomy. Users will follow the application of the law of an eye for an eye by the Old Babylonian king Hammurapi, and will relive the exploits of Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Striking images of selected cuneiform texts and related artifacts are placed in their historical setting with short narratives prepared by experts in the languages and archaeology of the ancient Near East, but also by college students approaching a distant world with fresh eyes.
Sponsored by the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (https://cdli.ucla.edu), “cdli tablet” was originally created in 2013 as an iPad app by then UCLA Computer Science graduate student Sai Deep Tetali and Assyriology Professor Robert K. Englund. In 2017, Prashant Rajput, UCLA CS graduate student, and Altaf Shaikh, mobile developer, built this improved version for tablets and smartphones running on Android. With its daily update of entries written to follow particular themes in Babylonian history—topics ranging from the origins of writing 3500 years before the time of Christ to current efforts to digitally preserve and globally disseminate Mesopotamia’s cultural heritage—the app will appeal to diverse learning communities of all ages and levels of interest. By opening lines of communication to the history of pre-scientific civilizations dead many millennia, its developers believe that modern culture achieves a deeper appreciation and understanding of its own roots.