Essay The Appearance And Spread Of Cuneiform

772 Words Nov 13th, 2016 4 Pages
THE APPEARANCE AND SPREAD OF CUNEIFORM
Cuneiform is the name of the many writing systems found throughout Mesopotamia that were in use from the fourth millennium B.C.E until the late first century C.E. The word cuneiform means “wedge-shaped,” due to the wedge shape being one of the two elements that describes the writing style. It was carved on clay tablets and could also be found on stone and metal works (Zorman 2014:103-104). The use of clay was advantageous as it could be molded into many forms and shapes. The disadvantage of using clay meant that weight would be an issue when transporting the tablets and corrections could not be made once the clay had been baked and hardened (Charpin and Todd 2010:7). Characters within the script could be simple or very elaborate with multiple markings and impressions (Zorman 2014:103-104). It used a system of logograms or one sign meaning one word and phonograms, meaning one sign representing one syllable (Charpin and Todd 2010:7). The system of writing would spread and be present in numerous ancient near east languages such as Sumerian, Elamite, Eblaite, Old Assyrian, Old Babylonian and other Akkadian dialects, Proto-Hattic, Hittite, Luwian, Palaic, Hurrian, Urartian, Ugaritic, and Old Persian. Not all of these writing systems stemmed solely from ancient Sumer but all had features in common and fall under the cuneiform system. It served as their writing system as well as their numbering system and in some instances was the sole…

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