Brotlaibidole ('loaf shaped idols' in German) - also known as Enigmatic Tablets - are a series of terracotta and stone artefacts which have been found across Europe. Around 300 are in museum collections. They have similar ovoid shape and sizes, and are inscribed with geometric symbols, indentations, circles, lines, points and crosses. They are believed to date from the Late Middle Bronze Age (2100 BC - 1400 BC).
The inscriptions have not been deciphered, and the function of the tablets is unclear.
As the name suggests, they were initially thought to be religious objects, but this theory has largely been superceded by the idea that they were a form of accounting record - and, because of the similarities in tablets found in widely differing geographical regions, probably for international trading of some kind.
See : Wikipedia (in Italian)
Also see : Photos and scans at the University of Brescia, Italy.
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