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The paper deals with 185 impressed tablets which illustrate the crucial step between an archaic writing based upon tokens and writing. The discussion includes the historical background of the discovery of the tablets, their geographic distribution, chronology, and the context in which they were found. The various impressed signs are related to their token prototypes, and a new decipherment is proposed. In the light of the decoding of the most basic types of tokens, the signs are meteorological, not numerical as had been hitherto been assumed.