History[ edit ] Early writing tablet recording the allocation of beer in southern Iraq— BC The cuneiform writing system was in use for more than three millennia, through several stages of development, from the 31st century BC down to the second century AD.
Reading by column from right to left: So why do we know about Shulgi and Gudea? It's simply because somebody wrote about them. Clay bulla and the commodity tokens that were inside it. Before writing was invented, business transactions were recorded with the exchange of clay tokens that represented the items being traded.
The tokens were simple abstract designs used to represent different commodities sheep, grain, cattle, etc. Unfortunately, once the bulla was closed, it was impossible to see what was inside, so the tokens were impressed on the outside of the bulla to reflect its contents, showing the number and type of the commodities being traded.
Each token represents a different commodity. The token designs could just as easily be drawn on a clay tablet. The earliest forms of Sumerian writing were pictographs "picture words" where the sign resembles the object it represents grain, hand, etc.
Pictographs, the precursor to cuneiform writing. The hand on the upper right means "to receive". The dots along the top are numbers.
The evolution of writing: Click here to enlarge the chart.
|By the early 21st century some 30, tablets or fragments of tablets in the Hittite language had been recovered through archaeological excavations. The overwhelming majority of these were found in the tablet collections of Hattusa, although additional Origin and character of cuneiform The origins of cuneiform may be traced back approximately to the end of the 4th millennium bce.|
|Their meaning can depend on the TA.|
|Cuneiform Latin for "wedge shaped" appears on baked clay or mud tablets that range in color from bone white to chocolate to charcoal.|
In column I, the signs are simple pictographs and they are drawn with curved lines. They become more simplified in the last two columns. The signs for man and woman were originally pictographs of their genitals, which probably saved a lot of gender confusion.
This makes Sumerian writing the first true writing in the world.
Egyptian hieroglyphics never got past the pictographic form. Sumerians never quite developed a true alphabet. An example is shown below. The usual form is on the left. On the right is the compressed form.
To compress or not to compress? This tablet perfectly illustrates the advantage of using compressed print. On the top line, where there are many signs, the scribe was concerned about running out of space, so he used the compressed version of gu4.
On the second line, where there's plenty of room, he used the full version.
There are many compressed signs on Tablet Sumerian signs were very elaborate. You know what I mean.Cuneiform writing was gradually replaced by the Phoenician alphabet during the Neo-Assyrian Empire, and by the 2nd century AD, the script had become extinct.
Cuneiform documents were written on clay tablets, by means of a blunt reed for a stylus. Cuneiform writing emerged in the Sumerian civilization of southern Iraq around the 34th century BC  during the middle Uruk period, beginning as a pictographic system of writing. Cuneiform was the most widespread and historically significant writing system in the Ancient Near East.
The original Sumerian script was adapted for the writing of the Semitic Akkadian (Assyrian/Babylonian), Eblaite and Amorite languages, the language isolates Elamite, Hattic, Hurrian and Urartian, as well as Indo-European languages Hittite and Luwian; it inspired the later Semitic Ugaritic alphabet as well as Old Persian leslutinsduphoenix.com systems: (Proto-writing)Cuneiform.
Jun 25, · 20,–Year Old Sumerian Tablet’s Final Translation Tells A Story That Could Alter The Reason Of - Duration: The . The original Sumerian script was adapted for the writing of the Akkadian, Eblaite, Elamite, Hittite, Luwian, Hattic, Hurrian, and Urartian languages, and it inspired the Ugaritic alphabet and Old Persian cuneiform.
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