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Languages: Cuneiform
Ancient Wedge Shaped Writing in Clay

Akkadian Cuneiform The Akkadian cuneiform script was adapted from Sumerian cuneiform in about 2350 BC. At the same time, many Sumerian words were borrowed into Akkadian, and Sumerian logograms were given both Sumerian and Akkadian readings. In many ways the process of adapting the Sumerian script to the Akkadian language resembles the way the Chinese script was adapted to write Japanese. Akkadian, like Japanese, was polysyllabic and used a range of inflections while Sumerian, like Chinese, had few or no inflections.
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/akkadian.htm

Ancient Babylonia - Cuneiform The script of the Sumerians and all the other inhabitants of Mesopotamia employed to write their language, up to the first century BC was cuneiform. The name cuneiform comes from the Latin word "cuneus", meaning wedge. According to Babylonian beliefs Nabu, the god of scribal arts, who was also the city god of Borsippa, gave cuneiform to them. (Bible History Online)
http://www.bible-history.com/babylonia/BabyloniaCuneiform.htm

Ancient Cuneiform Writing Cuneiform is the earliest form of writing. The predominate writing material used in the ancient Near East was clay, formed into small tablets and impressed with wedge-shaped symbols called cuneiform writing, and then baked in an oven or dried in the sun. Thousands of clay writing-boards have been uncovered by archaeologists. Cuneiform is the earliest -known system of writing. It was invented in Sumer around 3000 B.C. The name cuneiform comes from the Latin word "cuneus", meaning wedge. (Bible History Online)
http://www.bible-history.com/sketches/ancient/cuneiform-writing.html

Assyrian Babylonian Cuneiform Grammar Ancient Mesopotamia of the Near East - Dictionary, Flashcards and Translator. The Assyrian/Babylonian Cuneiform: Pictographs (symbols that visually look like physical objects, also known as hieroglyphs) evolved over time from around 3500 B.C. into Babylonian-Assyrian Cuneiform (wedge shaped writing) around 1800 B.C. Note: The evolution of the pictograph went from the Ancient Sumerians (who developed the first Cuneiform language based on the pictographs) -> Babylonians -> Assyrians. Over time, the original pictograph is in almost all cases, visually unrecognizable in Cuneiform by 600 B.C.
http://www.virtualsecrets.com/assyrian.html

CDLI - Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative The Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI) represents the efforts of an international group of Assyriologists, museum curators and historians of science to make available through the internet the form and content of cuneiform tablets dating from the beginning of writing, ca. 3350 BC, until the end of the pre-Christian era. We estimate the number of these documents currently kept in public and private collections to exceed 500,000 exemplars, of which now nearly 225,000 have been catalogued in electronic form by the CDLI.
http://cdli.ucla.edu/?section=collections

Cuneiform Tablet with Part of the Babylonian Chronicle (605-594 B.C.) Neo-Babylonian, about 550-400 BC. From Babylon, southern Iraq. Nebuchadnezzar II's campaigns in the west. This tablet is one of a series that summarises the principal events of each year from 747 BC to at least 280 BC. Each entry is separated by a horizontal line and begins with a reference to the year of reign of the king in question. [British Museum]
http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/me/c/cuneiform_nebuchadnezzar_ii.aspx

Cuneiform Tablets African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress. Cuneiform Tablets: From the Reign of Gudea of Lagash to Shalmanassar III presents clay tablets, cones, and brick fragments inscribed using the ancient writing system known as cuneiform from the Library of Congress' collections. The Sumerians invented this writing system, which involves the use of a wedge-shaped reed stylus to make impressions in clay. Cuneiform Tablets: From the Reign of Gudea of Lagash to Shalmanassar III includes school tablets, accounting records, and commemorative inscriptions. This online presentation features 38 cuneiform tablets, presented with supplementary materials. The 38 tablets are dated from the reign of Gudea of Lagash (2144-2124 B.C.) to Shalmanassar III (858-824 B.C.) during the New Assyrian Empire (884-612 B.C.).
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/intldl/cuneihtml/cuneihome.html

Cuneiform Tablets What do ancient cuneiform tablets teach us about biblical times and the biblical record? Cuneiform was a system of writing used by different language groups in the ancient Near and Middle Eastern regions to inscribe information in a variety of languages. It was used for over three thousand years, from the dawn of the postdiluvial civilizations until after the Jewish Diaspora in A.D. 70. The word "cuneiform" derives from the Latin word "cuneus" which means "wedge." "Cuneiform" literally means "wedge form," or "wedge shaped." The wedge-shaped letters were pressed into a clay tablet using a stylus usually made of reed. The wet clay was then baked or left to dry. Cuneiform was for the most part deciphered by archaeologists Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson and Georg Friedrich Grotefend in the mid to late 19th century, though there are many cuneiform tablets written in languages which are yet to be deciphered.
http://www.allaboutarchaeology.org/cuneiform-tablets-faq.htm

Cuneiform Tablets from Mesopotamia The Land between the two Rivers is the place where writing appears for the first time: a means of registration essential first for the administration of the new city states, and then for putting into writing Sumerian and Akkadian literature in the scribal schools. The inhabitants of Mesopotamia at the end of the 4th millennium BC, the Sumerians catented this extraordinary means of communication, using clay tablets that were engraved with a pointed stylus initially creating logograms, that is to say schematic drawings of the objects mentioned, then gradually simplified through the decomposition of the figures into cunei, until a large collection of syllabic signs (about 600) was achieved.
http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/x-Schede/MEZs/MEZs_Sala08_01_030.html

Cuneiform Tablets: Millikin University Archives Nine Babylonian cuneiform tablets were obtained by Millikin University President A.E.Taylor for the university's library collection on Oct.12, 1922 from Edgar James Banks (1866-1945), archaeologist/Assyrologist and purveyor of Middle East artifacts. Mr. Banks, in a letter accompanying the collection, certified all nine tablets as being "the genuine ancient Babylonian originals."
http://www.millikin.edu/staley/archives/cuneiforms.html

Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets British Museum
http://ebind.library.vanderbilt.edu/cgi-bin/Ebind2html/ETANA/Cuneiform

Cuneiform Writing Univ. Of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Sumerians created cuneiform script over 5000 years ago. It was the world's first written language. The last known cuneiform inscription was written in 75 AD. Pictograms, or drawings representing actual things, were the basis for cuneiform writing. As shown in the chart, early pictograms resembled the objects they represented, but through repeated use over time they began to look simpler, even abstract. These marks eventually became wedge-shaped ("cuneiform"), and could convey sounds or abstract concepts.
http://www.upenn.edu/museum/Games/cuneiform.html

Early Cuneiform Writing Over five thousand years ago, people living in Mesopotamia developed a form of writing to record and communicate different types of information... The earliest writing was based on pictograms. Pictograms were used to communicate basic information about crops and taxes. Over time, the need for writing changed and the signs developed into a script we call cuneiform. Over thousands of years, Mesopotamian scribes recorded daily events, trade, astronomy, and literature on clay tablets. Cuneiform was used by people throughout the ancient Near East to write several different languages.
http://www.mesopotamia.co.uk/writing/home_set.html

ETCLS Cuneiform Cuneiform writing was most probably invented in Uruk in southern Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) about 3400 - 3300 BCE (Glassner 2003:45). It was invented to keep records of goods and services, and the language that was recorded was, as far as we can tell, Sumerian. The cuneiform script was later adopted by other people speaking languages as different as Akkadian, a Semitic language, and Hittite, an Indo-European language. Sumerian itself is, as far as we know, not related to any other living language. It is a language isolate.
http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/edition2/cuneiformwriting.php

Journal of Cuneiform Studies Founded in 1947 by the Baghdad School of the American Schools of Oriental Research, theJournal of Cuneiform Studies (JCS) presents technical and general articles on the history and languages of the ancient Mesopotamian and Anatolian literate cultures. Articles appear in English, French, and German. Published once a year; circa 144 pages per issue.
http://www.asor.org/pubs/jcs/index.html

Old Persian Cuneiform Darius I (550-486 BC) claims credit for the invention of Old Persian Cuneiform in an inscription on a cliff at Behistun in south-west Iran. The inscription dates from 520 BC and is in three languages - Elamite, Babylonian and Old Persian. Some scholars are sceptical about Darius' claims, others take them seriously, although they think that Darius probably commissioned his scribes to create the alphabet, rather than inventing it himself.
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/opcuneiform.htm

Science Museum of Minnesota - Cuneiform Collection Over five thousand years ago, the people dwelling in southern Iraq invented one of the world's earliest systems of writing. They did not do so in order to write stories or letters, nor yet to publicize the deeds of gods and kings, though soon enough writing came to be used for those purposes. They invented writing because they needed a means of accounting for the receipt and distribution of resources. For their numbers had grown and their society had become complex in the alluvial plains of the lower Tigris and Euphrates rivers, an environment which required attentive management in order to sustain a large, agriculture-based civilization. Hence the need for organizing labor and resources; hence the need for accounting and accountability. The accounting system the people of ancient Iraq developed comprised both a method of recording language in writing, and a method of authenticating and authorizing records and transactions, through sealing them with personal or official seals.
http://www.smm.org/anthropology/cuneiform/

Sumerian Cuneiform Ancient Sumeria in Mesopotamia of the Near East " Dictionary, Flashcards and Translator. Ancient Sumeria covered a wide area of what we know of as Ancient Mesopotamia[26]. Based on everything that I have come across, Ur could have been the main governing city of the other cities or kingdoms of Ancient Mesopotamia (such as Erech, Kish, what would become Babylon, etc).
http://www.virtualsecrets.com/sumerian.html

Sumerian Writing - Cuneiform Sumerian is the first known written language. Its script, called cuneiform, meaning "wedge-shaped". The Cuneiform script is one of the earliest known forms of written expression. Created by the Sumerians in the late 4th millennium BC, cuneiform writing began as a system of pictographs. Over time, the pictorial representations became simplified and more abstract.
http://www.crystalinks.com/sumerwriting.html

The Cuneiform Writing System (Babylonian and Assyrian Cuneiform Texts) Writing is one of the essentials and characteristics of civilization... Urbanization, capital formation and writing are closely related. Writing developed at the end of the 4th millennium in the Middle East. The prime motivation was of an economic nature: the desire to administer economical and trade transactions. Almost all of the early cuneiform texts and a very large fraction of the 2nd millenium texts concern economy and administration.
http://xoomer.alice.it/bxpoma/akkadeng/cuneiform.htm

The Cuneiform Writing System (Babylonian and Assyrian Cuneiform Texts) Writing is one of the essentials and characteristics of civilization. Urbanization, capital formation and writing are closely related. Writing developed at the end of the 4th millennium in the Middle East. The prime motivation was of an economic nature: the desire to administer economical and trade transactions. Almost all of the early cuneiform texts and a very large fraction of the 2nd millenium texts concern economy and administration. A comprehensive theory concerning the origin of writing was developed by Denise Schmandt-Besserat, University of Texas.
http://www.sron.nl/~jheise/akkadian/cuneiform.html

The Stanford Cuneiform Tablet Visualization Project Thousands of historically revealing cuneiform clay tablets, which were inscribed in Mesopotamia millenia ago, still exist today. Visualizing cuneiform writing is important when deciphering what is written on the tablets. It is also important when reproducing the tablets in papers and books. Unfortunately, scholars have found photographs to be an inadequate visualization tool, for two reasons. First, the text wraps around the sides of some tablets, so a single viewpoint is insufficient. Second, a raking light will illuminate some textual features, but will leave others shadowed or invisible because they are either obscured by features on the tablet or are nearly aligned with the lighting direction. We have investigated solutions to these problems. We've first created a high-resolution 3D computer model from laser range data, then unwrapped and flattened the inscriptions on the model to a plane, allowing us to represent them as a scalar displacement map, and finally, we rendered this map non-photorealistically using accessibility and curvature coloring. The output of this semi-automatic process enables all of a tablet's text to be perceived in a single concise image. Our technique can also be applied to other types of inscribed surfaces, including bas-reliefs.
http://www-graphics.stanford.edu/projects/cuneiform/

Ugaritic Cuneiform Ugaritic cuneiform was named after Ugarit, the city state where it was used. It was probably created sometime during the 14th century BC. Ugaritic cuneiform outwardly resembles other cuneiform scripts and has a sound system based on consonant alphabets such as Phoenician/Canaanite.
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/ugaritic.htm

Write like a Babylonian University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology presents Write Like a Babylonian, see your monogram in cuneiform, the way an ancient Babylonian might have written it.
http://www.upennmuseum.com/cuneiform.cgi



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