Cuneiform is an ancient writing system that was first used in around 3400 BC.

Cuneiform is an ancient writing system that was first used in around 3400 BC.

Distinguished by its wedge-shaped marks on Here,,,,,,,,,,,,, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here. clay tablets, cuneiform script is the oldest form of writing in the world, first appearing even earlier than Egyptian hieroglyphics. Here are six facts about the script that originated in ancient Mesopotamia…

Curators regarding the world’s largest collection of cuneiform tablets – housed in the British Museum – revealed in a 2015 book why the writing system is as relevant today as ever. Here, Irving Finkel and Jonathan Taylor share six lesser-known details about the annals associated with the ancient script…

Cuneiform is not a language

The cuneiform writing system is also not an alphabet, and it also doesn’t have letters. Instead it used between 600 and 1,000 characters to publish words (or parts of them) or syllables (or components of them).

The 2 languages that are main in Cuneiform are Sumerian and Akkadian (from ancient Iraq), although significantly more than a dozen others are recorded. This implies we’re able to put it to use equally well today to spell Chinese, Hungarian or English.

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Cuneiform was first found in around 3400 BC

The stage that is first elementary pictures that have been soon also used to record sounds. Cuneiform probably preceded egyptian writing that is hieroglyphic because we know of early Mesopotamian experiments and ‘dead-ends’ due to the fact established script developed – like the beginning of signs and numbers – whereas the hieroglyphic system seems to have been born more or less perfectly formed and ready to go. Almost certainly Egyptian writing evolved from cuneiform – it can’t have already been an on-the-spot invention.

Amazingly, cuneiform continued to be used until the first century AD, and therefore the exact distance in time that separates us through the latest surviving cuneiform tablet is only just over 1 / 2 of that which separates that tablet from the first cuneiform.

Whatever you needed to write cuneiform was a reed and some clay

Each of which were freely available in the rivers alongside the Mesopotamian cities where cuneiform was used (now Iraq and eastern Syria). The term cuneiform comes from Latin ‘cuneus’, meaning ‘wedge’, and simply means ‘wedge shaped’. It refers to the shape made each and every time a scribe pressed his stylus (made from a specially cut reed) to the clay.

Most tablets would fit comfortably when you look at the palm of a hand – like mobile phones today – and were utilized just for a short time: maybe a couple of hours or days at school, or a couple of years for a letter, loan or account. A number of the tablets have survived purely by accident.

Those who read cuneiform for a full time income – and there are many – want to think about it as Here,,,,,,,,,,,,, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here. the world’s most difficult writing (or the most inconvenient). However, it’s a doddle to master if you have six years to spare and work round the clock (not pausing for meals! All you have to do is learn the extinct languages recorded because of the tablets, then numerous of signs – some of which do have more than one meaning or sound.

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Children who go to the British Museum appear to take to cuneiform with some sort of overlooked instinct that is homing and so they often consider clay homework in spikey wedges way more exciting than exercises in biro in some recoverable format.

In fact, a number of the surviving tablets in the museum collection belonged to schoolchildren, and show the spelling and handwriting exercises until they could move on to difficult literature that they completed: they repeated the same characters, then words, then proverbs, over and over again.

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Cuneiform is as relevant as ever today

Ancient writings offer proof which our ‘modern’ ideas and problems have been experienced by human beings for many thousands of years – this will be always an astounding realisation. Through cuneiform the voices are heard by us not just of kings and their scribes, but children, bankers, merchants, priests and healers – women in addition to men. It is utterly fascinating to learn other people’s letters, specially when these are generally 4,000 years of age and printed in such elegant and script that is delicate.

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