Stele of Assryian king Assurbanipal (r. 668627 BC ) of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (668 BC c. 627 BC)

ritually carrying a basket to mold the first brick in the rebuilding of E-sagila temple

in Babylon . The E-sagila may be the Tower of Babel found in the Bible.

See full sized image .

 

Cuneiform is one of the earliest, if not the earliest form of writing in the world and was in use from  3500 B.C.  to the first century of the common era.  Its use spread from Mesopotamia to the Iranian plateau in the east and to the Mediterranean as far as Syria in the west . Cuneiform spawned the Phoenician, Hebrew, and Arabic scripts, and which ultimately gave rise to our own alphabet as well. Cuneiform has been used as a logosyllabic, syllabic, and alphabetic script.

 

Cuneiform was used for such varying languages as Semitic such as Akkadian and Indo-European languages such as Hittite  and other isolated language groups such as Hurrian, Elamite and Sumerian. The word, cuneiform is derived from the Latin cuneus "wedge" + form .

 

 

 

 

 

Origin of Cuneiform

Proto Cuneiform

 

Cuneiform in the Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian Empires

The Code of Hammurabi

 

Cuneiform in the Hittite and Persian Empires

The last use of Cuneiform

 

 

Deciphering Cuneiform

 

Famous Works in Cuneiform

The Enma Elih

The Epic of Gilgamish

Words and numbers in Cuneiform

Write your name in cuneiform !

Cuneiform links

Cuneiform tattoos

 

 

Scribes (dubsar  ) at the temple yard of Uruk 3,000 BC.  Seated left is a seal cutter, with an

apprentice rolling a seal in clay . The scribe in front is using a stylus for the writing of numbers .

 

 

 

 

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