This paperweight made of bronze is inspired by a foundation slab from the temple of the goddess Nanshé, built in Girsu (now Tello) by a powerful Sumerian emperor, Shulgi, second king of the 3rd dynasty of Ur, around 2100 BC.
The Sumerians ensured the life and the identity of official buildings by burying a large nail in the foundations along with a written document. This custom was supposed to preserve the memory of the builder and the destination of his work.
The stone originally read from right to left and from top to bottom, but by turning it around 90 degrees, Sumerian could be read from left to right.
This writing was composed of image-signs like Egyptian hieroglyphics, which were wedge shaped like nails, and the original appearance of many of the signs remained recognizable.