Deciphering cuneiform writing activity

In the 2nd millennium the Akkadian of Babylonia, frequently in somewhat distorted and barbarous varieties, became a lingua franca of international intercourse in the entire Middle East, and cuneiform writing thus became a universal medium of written communication.

Cuneiform was written with a reed stylus, which left wedge-shaped impressions on soft clay tablets; the tablets were then dried in the sun or baked in a kiln. After translating the Persian, Rawlinson began to decipher the others. 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.

He first crossed a chasm between the Persian and Elamite scripts by bridging the gap with planks, subsequently copying the Elamite inscription. Even after the fall of the Assyrian and Babylonian kingdoms in the 7th and 6th centuries bce, when Aramaic had become the general popular language, rather decadent varieties of Late Babylonian and Assyrian survived as written languages in cuneiform almost down to the time of Christ.

Such word writing was able to express only the basic ideas of concrete objects. Assuming identical contents in three different languages, scholars argued on historical grounds that those trilingual inscriptions belonged to the Achaemenid kings and that the first writing represented the Old Persian language, which would be closely related to Avestan and Sanskrit.

That there must have been a chronological gap between invention of the script and its actual use is confirmed by some striking features, which have been brought out most clearly by Karl Hoffmannwho also tried to explain them.

Such reduction did, however, lead to ambiguity or polyphony of many signs.

Encyclopædia Iranica

Higher levels of Babylonian learning involved studying the Sumerian roots of their civilization, much like modern students study Greek and Latin. There is a total of thirty-six phonic signs, which may be classed in four groups: The Code of Hammurabi is written in Old Babylonian cuneiform, which developed throughout the shifting and less brilliant later eras of Babylonian history into Middle and New Babylonian types.

Behistun Inscription

He thought this was very difficult and got easily frustrated. Until the 20th century Sumerian was not definitely recognized as a separate language at all but rather as a special way of noting Akkadian. With the Persian text, and with about a third of the syllabary made available to him by the work of Georg Friedrich GrotefendRawlinson set to work on deciphering the text.

Glue 3 sticks crosswise to hold them together. The Elamite was across a chasm, and the Babylonian four meters above; both were beyond easy reach and were left for later.

This change from earlier columns running downward entailed turning the signs on one side. The German scholar Georg Friedrich Grotefend in reasoned that the introductory lines of the text were likely to contain the name, titles, and genealogy of the ruler, the pattern for which was known from later Middle Iranian inscriptions in an adapted Aramaic i.This activity is a fun one that enables you to learn how your students view themselves.

Allow older students to use a dictionary or thesaurus.

You might also vary the number of words for each letter, according to the students' grade levels. Oct 06,  · Cuneiform Writing activity Having begun our studies in Mesopotamia we took a slight detour to understand the history of writing. This discussion came up after visiting the British Museum and seeing cuneiform writing and the famous Rosetta Stone.

Mesopotamia- Cuneiform Decoding This printable is a worksheet for students to become familiar with the general look of cuneiform writing. They use the cuneiform alphabet to decode the message. Jun 25,  · Deciphering the world's oldest rule book 5, Year Old Sumerian Cuneiform Tablets Reveal Stunning Pronouncing pictures!

- History of Writing Systems #4 (Rebus writing) - Duration: Cuneiform, from the Latin cuneus, meaning "wedge," is the term applied to a mode of writing which used a wedge-shaped stylus to make impressions on a clay surface, and also on stone, metal, and wax.

Most of the clay tablets were sun-baked, making surviving tablets very fragile.

Deciphering Ancient Cuneiform & The work of Rev. Edward Hincks Foxrock Local History Society 2. Deciphering the Past • The enlightenment (~ to ) changed the way people viewed the world - the key to unlocking the past lay in direct observation and study.

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Deciphering cuneiform writing activity
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