SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pregnancy talisman. Talisman designed to protect against a miscarriage during a pregnancy. The square, clay talisman is inscribed with a cuneiform script, a series of wedge shaped symbols which each represent a word. Before the invention of modern medical techniques, pregnancies were risky due to disease and other problems. This meant that a much higher percentage of babies and women died during pregnancy and childbirth. The talisman was made about 2000 BC in the Mesopotamian city of Ur in modern Iraq. The Mesopotamians believed that magic and divine intervention could help where their medical knowledge could not.
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