A squeeze is a series of moldable paper, pulp, latex, or plaster that are layered on top of each other and moistened to create a wet pulp. The substance is then pressed, into a low relief inscription. When the material is dry and removed, it becomes a multidimensional mirror-image representation of the original inscription.
The images shown here are from the Ernst Herzfeld Papers housed in the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. The Archives holds 393 squeezes from the ancient Near East, the largest collection outside of Iran and Iraq. To learn more, visit the Squeeze Imaging Project.