25 Facts About Akkadian cuneiform


Akkadian cuneiform was itself adapted to write the Hittite language in the early second millennium BC.

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The other languages with significant Akkadian cuneiform corpora are Eblaite, Elamite, Hurrian, Luwian, and Urartian.

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Early Akkadian cuneiform inscription were made by using a pointed stylus, sometimes called "linear Akkadian cuneiform".

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The Akkadian cuneiform language being Semitic, its structure was completely different from Sumerian.

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Signs tilted by about 45 degrees are called tenu in Akkadian cuneiform, thus DIS is a vertical wedge and DIS tenu a diagonal one.

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Elamite cuneiform was a simplified form of the Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform, used to write the Elamite language in the area that corresponds to modern Iran.

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The earliest known Elamite cuneiform text is a treaty between Akkadians and the Elamites that dates back to 2200 BC.

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Hittite cuneiform is an adaptation of the Old Assyrian cuneiform of c 1800 BC to the Hittite language.

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Old Persian Akkadian cuneiform was developed with an independent and unrelated set of simple Akkadian cuneiform characters, by Darius the Great in the 5th century BC.

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Akkadian cuneiform guessed, correctly, that they represented not letters or hieroglyphics but words and syllables, and were to be read from left to right.

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In 1700 Thomas Hyde first called the inscriptions "Akkadian cuneiform", but deemed that they were no more than decorative friezes.

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Proper attempts at deciphering Old Persian Akkadian cuneiform started with faithful copies of Akkadian cuneiform inscriptions, which first became available in 1711 when duplicates of Darius's inscriptions were published by Jean Chardin.

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The set of characters that would later be known as Old Persian Akkadian cuneiform, was perceived as being the simplest of the three types of Akkadian cuneiform scripts that had been encountered, and because of this was understood as a prime candidate for decipherment .

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Akkadian cuneiform published his results in 1793 in Memoire sur diverses antiquites de la Perse.

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Akkadian cuneiform discovered that series of characters in the Persian inscriptions were divided from one another by an oblique wedge and that these must be individual words.

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Akkadian cuneiform found that a specific group of seven letters was recurring in the inscriptions, and that they had a few recurring terminations of three to four letters.

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Akkadian cuneiform suggested that the long word appearing with high frequency and without any variation towards the beginning of each inscription must correspond to the word "King", and that repetitions of this sequence must mean "King of Kings".

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Akkadian cuneiform correctly guessed that the sequence must be pronounced kh-sha-a-ya-th-i-ya, a word of the same root as the Avestan xsaTra- and the Sanskrit ksatra- meaning "power" and "command", and now known to be pronounced xsaya?iya in Old Persian.

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Akkadian cuneiform equated the letters with the name d-a-r-h-e-u-sh for Darius, as known from the Greeks.

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The Egyptian inscription on the vase was in the name of King Xerxes I, and the orientalist Antoine-Jean Saint-Martin, who accompanied Champollion, was able to confirm that the corresponding words in the Akkadian cuneiform script were indeed the words which Grotefend had identified as meaning "king" and "Xerxes" through guesswork.

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Akkadian cuneiform succeeded in fixing the true values of nearly all the letters in the Persian alphabet, in translating the texts, and in proving that the language of them was not Zend, but stood to both Zend and Sanskrit in the relation of a sister.

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Decipherment of Babylonian ultimately led to the decipherment of Akkadian cuneiform, which was a close predecessor of Babylonian.

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The actual techniques used to decipher the Akkadian cuneiform language have never been fully published; Hincks described how he sought the proper names already legible in the deciphered Persian while Rawlinson never said anything at all, leading some to speculate that he was secretly copying Hincks.

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Besides the well known clay tablets and stone inscriptions Akkadian cuneiform was written on wax boards, which one example from the 8th century BC was found at Nimrud.

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Studies by Assyriologists like Claus Wilcke and Dominique Charpin suggest that Akkadian cuneiform literacy was not reserved solely for the elite but was common for average citizens.

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