In Late Bronze Age Egypt, writing boards were covered with stucco and fabric and written on with ink. Only in Greco-Roman times were wax-covered boards introduced into Egypt. The literacy of other regions such as Canaan, the west coast of Anatolia (Arzawa) and Cyprus (Alashia) is evident from the Amarna Letters, the diplomatic correspondence between Near Eastern rulers and the Egyptian court in the 14th century B.C., but their archives have invariably not been located. As for Mycenaean Greece and Crete, Linear B tablets make no mention of wooden writing material. But a number of clay sealings have been found, which may have been used to seal more perishable writing materials.


The region of classical Cilicia, in southeast Turkey.



George F. Bass, “A Bronze Age Shipwreck at Ulu Burun (Kas): 1984 Campaign,” American Journal of Archaeology 90 (1986), pp. 296ff.; Bass, “Oldest Known Shipwreck Reveals Bronze Age Splendors,” National Geographic, December 1987, pp. 693ff.; Bass et al., “The Bronze Age Shipwreck at Ulu Burun: 1986 Campaign,” American Journal of Archaeology 93 (1989), p. 10f.


For full bibliographic details and text references of this article, see the following articles in Anatolian Studies 41 (1991), Journal of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara: Robert Payton, “The Ulu Burun writing board set”; Peter Warnock and Michael Pendleton, “The wood of the Ulu Burun diptych”; and Dorit Symington, “Late Bronze Age writing boards and their uses: textual evidence from Anatolia and Syria.”


Cemal Pulak, “RES MARITIMAE” in S. Swiny et al, eds., Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean from Prehistory to Late Antiquity, CAARI Monograph Series, vol. 1 (1997), p. 252f.


D.J. Wiseman, “Assyrian Writing Boards,” Iraq 17 (1955), published by the British School of Archaeology in Iraq, pp. 3ff.; M.E.L. Mallowan, Nimrud and its Remains, vol. 1 (London, 1966), pp. 149ff.


R.M. Boehmer, Die Kleinfunde von Bogûazko¬y, WVDOG 87 (1972), p. 133f., Plate XLI.


Wiseman, “Assyrian Writing Boards,” Iraq 17 (1955), pp. 3ff.; Mallowan, Nimrud and its Remains, p. 5.