They didn’t have the industry of accreditation back then, so there’s no way real learning could have taken place. Silly archaeologists, don’t they know modern American academic ‘standards’ are the measure of all things?
Ok, now that I’ve got my sarcastic yet timely remark out of the way, I joyfully direct your attention to this very intriguing essay (pointed out to me by Joe Lauer).
A leading archaeologist in Babil province has identified the cuneiform texts found in the Tall Harmal excavations to the south of Baghdad last century as belonging to the oldest scientific seat of learning in history. A joint archaeological project between Baghdad University and the German Archaeological Institute took place in the spring of 1997 and in the autumn of 1998 at the Old Babylonian site of Tall Harmal. Among many important findings were several Old Babylonian archives containing about 3000 documents. Dr. Ahmad Majid explained on Thursday that these documents which date back to the second millennium BC came from an Old Babylonian institute of higher education called the “Harmal University”.
Very cool! And a very fine reason for students today to study cuneiform. There are literally tens of thousands of cuneiform tablets that have never been translated. Put down that Xbox and pick up a grammar, kids. Do something important.