It was finished. Five hundred cubits high on the side of a cliff overlooking the grass and shit huts the paltry human race inhabited. It was a project that would have taken fifty men a year to complete, and so it had taken Hammerabi 50 years to complete the work. But now his code was their for all to see. A guide for people to live their lives by and a list of reasonable penalties.
Basking in Law's ephemeral glow, Hammerabi backed up into one of the village’s denizens. “Pretty,” the vastly underdeveloped man said, “what that mean?”
“That, my friend, is the Code of Hammerabi, the impervious, absolute, unambiguous Law by which society should be governed,” his voice wheezed.
“No, me mean like, what it represent. It abstract? Look like river,” the man said again.
“No it's writing; it's all very simple, I'll explain all of it,” he lied, because he died.
The other man looked at Hammerabi's body, “That not explain much.”
The generations that followed still really weren't sure what to make of this strange series of glyphs. Eventually some fairly intelligent, for the era, people decided that they could make a living explaining what the Code of Hammerabi said. They called themselves layers, after the strata on which the law was engraved.
Something not unlike civilization got its rocky start here in Africa, with an infallible law guiding its, perhaps it could be called, progress. The difficulty, however, was that no one could actually understand it. The ones who didn't read and couldn't write a rescue rock* if a pterodactyl was trying to feed them to its kids just sort of assumed the layers knew what they were talking about.
*Admittedly it is very hard to kiln fire a rescue note in the clutches of a pterodactyl, but they don't have a lot of options in the distant past.
In the law offices of Stickfarb and Firestein and Stoneberg and Associates, a scrawny, furrow browed caveman sought their most... wise? counsel.
“Crashar steal Safour! Make Gooom mad!” said the most unerudite fellow.
“Kosher mammoth?” asked Stickfarb.
Gooom angrily snatched and ate the raw pachyderm, earnoseandtoothpick and all.
“Yeah, see, Crashar big mean turtle man?” asked Stickfarb
“So?” Gooom asked shortly.
Stickfarb: Yeah, no, Crashar have big legal injunction on us.
Gooom: What legal injuction?
Stickfarb: Big nastiness of death. Me afraid no one here help you.
???: I take the case!
Gooom: Who you?
???: Me Walk Upright, early hominid attorney!