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.
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.
At that time the Sumerians, a people of unknown ethnic and linguistic affinitiesinhabited southern Mesopotamia and the region west of the mouth of the Euphrates known as Chaldea. While it does not follow that they were the earliest inhabitants of the region or the true originators of their system of writing, it is to them that the first attested traces of cuneiform writing are conclusively assigned.
The earliest written records in the Sumerian language are pictographic tablets from Uruk Erechevidently lists or ledgers of commodities identified by drawings of the objects and accompanied by numerals and personal names.
Such word writing was able to express only the basic ideas of concrete objects. Numerical notions were easily rendered by the repetitional use of strokes or circles. However, the representation of proper names, for example, necessitated an early recourse to the rebus principle—i.
This brought about a transition from pure word writing to a partial phonetic script. Sumerian words were largely monosyllabic, so the signs generally denoted syllables, and the resulting mixture is termed a word-syllabic script. The inventory of phonetic symbols henceforth enabled the Sumerians to denote grammatical elements by phonetic complements added to the word signs logograms or ideograms.
Because a logogram often represented several related notions with different names e. In the course of the 3rd millennium the writing became successively more cursive, and the pictographs developed into conventionalized linear drawings.
Due to the prevalent use of clay tablets as writing material stone, metal, or wood also were employed occasionallythe linear strokes acquired a wedge-shaped appearance by being pressed into the soft clay with the slanted edge of a stylus.
Curving lines disappeared from writing, and the normal order of signs was fixed as running from left to right, without any word-divider.
This change from earlier columns running downward entailed turning the signs on one side. Spread and development of cuneiform Before these developments had been completed, the Sumerian writing system was adopted by the Akkadians, Semitic invaders who established themselves in Mesopotamia about the middle of the 3rd millennium.
In adapting the script to their wholly different language, the Akkadians retained the Sumerian logograms and combinations of logograms for more complex notions but pronounced them as the corresponding Akkadian words.
They also kept the phonetic values but extended them far beyond the original Sumerian inventory of simple types open or closed syllables like ba or ab. Many more complex syllabic values of Sumerian logograms of the type kan, mul, bat were transferred to the phonetic level, and polyphony became an increasingly serious complication in Akkadian cuneiform e.
The Akkadian readings of the logograms added new complicated values. The earliest type of Semitic cuneiform in Mesopotamia is called the Old Akkadianseen for example in the inscriptions of the ruler Sargon of Akkad died c.
Sumerthe southernmost part of the country, continued to be a loose agglomeration of independent city-states until it was united by Gudea of Lagash died c.
The political hegemony then passed decisively to the Akkadians, and King Hammurabi of Babylon died bce unified all of southern Mesopotamia.
Babylonia thus became the great and influential centre of Mesopotamian culture.Jun 04, · The History of Writing - Where the Story Begins - Extra History those tallies gradually evolved from pictograms into cuneiform text which could be used to convey complex, abstract, or even.
Cuneiform writing was gradually replaced by the Phoenician alphabet during the Neo-Assyrian Empire (– BC). By the second century AD, the script had become extinct, its last traces being found in Assyria and Babylonia, and all knowledge of how to read it Parent systems: (Proto-writing), Cuneiform.
Cuneiform Alphabet. Showing top 8 worksheets in the category - Cuneiform Alphabet. Some of the worksheets displayed are, Early forms of writing cuneiform, Mmeessooppoottaammiiaa, Introduction pre alphabetic writing, Treasure hunt bowling for barley part i, Garvy oi lesson plan final, Now write your own message in use the space, Farsi alphabet learn farsi farsi pronunciation farsi.
The fact that the earliest forms of Brahmi consists of consonants and basic vowels just like in the Ugaritic Cuneiform and Aramaic alphabets Brahmi Script in relation to Mesopotamian Cuneiform delay in its establishment when compared to the Mesopotamian region. writing established itself in India.
Cuneiform script is one of the oldest known writing forms. It emerged in ‘Sumer’ and is also known as the ‘sumerian cuneiform’. Sumer is a region located in Southern Iraq. The cuneiform alphabet. Learn about cuneiform writing and what Sumerian cuneiform is.
Cuneiform script is one of the oldest known writing forms.