Sex, Beer, and Politics

According to a report published by, Nathan Wasserman, Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology, and Michael Streck, Professor at the Altorientalisches Institut at Universität Leipzig, have translated a 3,500-year-old clay tablet from southern Mesopotamia that contains political riddles and crude language dealing with sex, beer, and politics.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

Millennia before modern-day Americans made fun of their politicians or cracked crude jokes over a cold one, people in ancient Mesopotamia were doing much the same thing.

The evidence of sex, politics and beer-drinking comes from a newly translated tablet, dating back more than 3,500 years, which reveals a series of riddles.

The text is fragmentary in parts and appears to have been written by an inexperienced hand, possibly a student. The researchers aren’t sure where the tablet originates, though they suspect its scribe lived in the southern part of Mesopotamia, near the Persian Gulf.

It seems that people in antiquity also used crude language, made jokes about sex, despised their politicians, and loved their Bud Light.


Duane Smith at Abnormal Interest send me the link to Wasserman’s article:  Once there, look for publication 5.27. Visit Duane’s site and read his own interpretation of the text.

I would like to thank Duane for this information.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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