A Bit About Cuneiform by Miki Kocic Cuneiform was a writing system used between roughly 5, and 1, years ago, so for more than 3, years. That makes it the longest-lasting writing system in known history-longer than the Chinese writing system, which has existed for about 3, years. Cuneiform was invented by the Sumerians, who lived in what is now southern, relatively coastal Iraq between about 10, and 4, years ago.
It was written using cuneiforma script adopted from the Sumerians using wedge-shaped symbols pressed in wet clay. As employed by Akkadian scribes, the adapted cuneiform script could represent either a Sumerian logograms i.
However, in Akkadian the script practically became a fully fledged syllabic scriptand the original logographic nature of cuneiform became secondary, though logograms for frequent words such as 'god' and 'temple' continued to be used. For this reason, the sign AN can on the one hand be a logogram for the word ilum 'god' and on the other signify the god Anu or even the syllable -an.
Additionally, this sign was used as a determinative for divine names. Another peculiarity of Akkadian cuneiform is that many signs do not have a well-defined phonetic value.
Both of these are often used for the same syllable in the same text.
Cuneiform was in many ways unsuited to Akkadian: In addition, cuneiform was a syllabary writing system—i. Akkadian is divided into several varieties based on geography and historical period: During the Middle Bronze Age Old Assyrian and Old Babylonian periodthe language virtually displaced Sumerian, which is assumed to have been extinct as a living language by the 18th century BC.
Old Akkadian, which was used until the end of the 3rd millennium BC, differs from both Babylonian and Assyrian, and was displaced by these dialects. By the 21st century BC Babylonian and Assyrian, which were to become the primary dialects, were easily distinguishable. Old Babylonian, along with the closely related dialect Marioticis clearly more innovative than the Old Assyrian dialect and the more distantly related Eblaite language.
For this reason, forms like lu-prus 'I will decide' are first encountered in Old Babylonian instead of the older la-prus.
While generally more archaic, Assyrian developed certain innovations as well, such as the "Assyrian vowel harmony" which is not comparable to that found in Turkish or Finnish. Eblaite is even more so, retaining a productive dual and a relative pronoun declined in case, number and gender.
Both of these had already disappeared in Old Akkadian. Most of the archaeological evidence is typical of Anatolia rather than of Assyria, but the use both of cuneiform and the dialect is the best indication of Assyrian presence.
The division is marked by the Kassite invasion of Babylonia around BC.
The Kassites, who reigned for years, gave up their own language in favor of Akkadian, but they had little influence on the language. At its apogee, Middle Babylonian was the written language of diplomacy of the entire ancient Orient, including Egypt.
During this period, a large number of loan words were included in the language from North West Semitic languages and Hurrian ; however, the use of these words was confined to the fringes of the Akkadian-speaking territory.
Under the AchaemenidsAramaic continued to prosper, but Assyrian continued its decline. The language's final demise came about during the Hellenistic period when it was further marginalized by Koine Greekeven though Neo-Assyrian cuneiform remained in use in literary tradition well into Parthian times.
The latest known text in cuneiform Babylonian is an astronomical text dated to 75 AD. An Akkadian inscription Old Assyrian developed as well during the second millennium BC, but because it was a purely popular language — kings wrote in Babylonian — few long texts are preserved.
From BC onwards, the language is termed Middle Assyrian.
During the first millennium BC, Akkadian progressively lost its status as a lingua franca. In the beginning, from around BC, Akkadian and Aramaic were of equal status, as can be seen in the number of copied texts: From this period on, one speaks of Neo-Babylonian and Neo-Assyrian.
Neo-Assyrian received an upswing in popularity in the 10th century BC when the Assyrian kingdom became a major power with the Neo-Assyrian Empirebut texts written 'exclusively' in Neo-Assyrian disappear within 10 years of Nineveh 's destruction in BC.[AAA] Atlas of Ancient Archaeology, Jacquetta Hawkes (ed), Barnes and Nobles: [AAF] Answering a Fundamentalist, Albert J.
Nevins, M.M., Our Sunday Visitor. The present study of Old Akkadian writing and grammar is based on sources fully listed and discussed, with references to sources, published and unpublished, in the Old Akkadian glossary soon to be published as MAD 3.
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Full text of "Old Akkadian Writing and Grammar". Cuneiform was a writing system used between roughly 5, and 1, years ago, so for more than 3, years. That makes it the longest-lasting writing system in known history-longer than the Chinese writing system, which has existed for about 3, years.
. Cuneiform or Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform, one of the earliest systems of writing, was invented by the Sumerians.
It is distinguished by its wedge-shaped marks on clay tablets, made by means of a blunt reed for a stylus. The name cuneiform itself simply means "wedge shaped".. Emerging in Sumer in the late fourth millennium BC (the Uruk IV . Old Akkadian writing, like other languages that adapted the cuneiform writing system, contains all the features of the Sumerian system: logograms, syllabograms, and auxiliary signs (such as determinatives).