A replica of a Babylonian School tablet c2000BC.
On this tablet, the name of the deity Urash was copied three times. Two signs were used to write this name: the first star-like sign on the left is a sign that was used to indicate the name of a divine being. The second sign could be used to write the syllable ib or ip; here it stands for Urash, the name of a deity. Cuneiform signs were used to render both words and sounds, and a single sign could signify multiple words and/or sounds. The study of cuneiform writing, therefore, required the mastery of several hundred signs and their different meanings.