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Mesopotamian Writings

Welcome to our captivating exploration of Mesopotamian writings, where we delve into the fascinating world of ancient texts, inscriptions, and literary works that provide invaluable insights into the intellectual and cultural life of Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia, often hailed as the "Cradle of Civilization," was home to one of the earliest known writing systems, cuneiform, which played a pivotal role in recording history, transmitting knowledge, and preserving the rich heritage of this ancient civilization.

In this section of our website, we invite you to embark on a journey through the world of Mesopotamian writings, where each article unveils a different facet of their literary and written traditions. From royal inscriptions and legal codes to epic poems and hymns, these writings offer a window into the beliefs, values, and societal structures of ancient Mesopotamia.

Explore the cuneiform script, one of the earliest known writing systems in the world, and learn about its evolution, decipherment, and the vast corpus of texts written in this script. Discover the tools, materials, and techniques used by Mesopotamian scribes to produce these remarkable writings.

The Cyrus Cylinder. Source: Prioryman/CC BY-SA 3.0

The Cyrus Cylinder and the Ancient Proclamation of Human Rights

More than 2 millennia before the French Revolution introduced the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizens , an ancient Near Eastern monarch issued a charter that is considered to be the...
Sulimaniya brick B318, part of the collection holding the signature of the geomagnetic anomaly.	Source: MIT License

Ancient Mesopotamian Bricks Record 3,000-Year-Old Geomagnetic Anomaly

A geomagnetic anomaly that occurred between 3,000 and 2,500 years ago has shed light on ancient Mesopotamia in a way that has never been explored before. Analysis of ancient bricks from Mesopotamia,...
Ernst Stötzner during scanning a cuneiform tablet in order to decipher the text.  Source: Maike Glöckner/Uni Halle

Ancient Cuneiform Tablets Instantly Deciphered By Revolutionary Methods

New artificial intelligence software is now able to decipher difficult-to-read texts on cuneiform tablets, almost in an instant. Instead of photos, the AI system uses 3D models of the tablets,...
The Great Flood. Source:  Faith Stock/Adobe Stock

How Sumerian Tablets Told the Story of The Great Flood

The world's first known flood myth can be traced back to the Sumerians around 2000 BC. Sumerian tablets recount captivating tales of human beginnings, the creation of mankind, and the profound...
The Taylor Prism was discovered in 1830 at Nineveh and is currently housed at the British Museum in London. It tells the story of King Sennacherib’s third campaign and his conquests in Judah. Source: Public domain

Sennacherib's Prisms Reveal the Glorious Reign of an Assyrian King

Imagine if all of the world’s ancient cultures and civilizations had had well-developed writing systems. Then envision the marvels we would know about today, the hidden secrets and remarkable tales...
Sumerian civilization artifact.

Sumer: Where Written Language, Arithmetic and Civilization Were Born

The Sumerian civilization (known also as Sumer) was one of the earliest civilizations in the world. This ancient civilization emerged in the region of southern Mesopotamia (modern day southern Iraq...
The engraving of the gods depicted on the kudurru were arranged in a particular order.

Signs of a Civilization? The Sacred Boundary Stones of Babylonia

A kudurru (meaning ‘boundary’ or ‘frontier’ in Akkadian ) is a type of stone document used in ancient Mesopotamia . While stone monuments have been used at various times in ancient Mesopotamia, it is...
 The broken top and bottom sections of the Assyrian stele.

British Museum Decided Against Uniting a Cursed Assyrian Stele and Bad Luck Fell to the Police

“Whoever discards this image from the presence of Salmanu puts it into another place, whether he throws it into water or covers it with earth or brings and places it into a taboo house where it is...
The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece

The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece

The Descent of Inanna (known also as ‘Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld / Underworld’) is a piece of work in the literary corpus of ancient Mesopotamia. This story, which was originally written in...
Representation of the cuneiform inscription discovery about the ancient city of Karkemish

Ancient Inscription Details Conquest of Assyrian King Sargon II

In "A New Historical Inscription of Sargon II from Karkemish," published in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies , Gianni Marchesi translates a recently discovered inscription of the Assyrian King...
The leader of the excavation, archaeologist Daniele Morandi Bonacossi, and one of the Assyrian relief carvings unearthed in the northern Kurdistan region of Iraq.    Source: Alberto Savioli / Land of Nineveh Archaeological Project / University of Udine

3000-Year-Old Assyrian Reliefs Unearthed in ISIS Stomping Ground

Archaeologists have unearthed ancient carved Assyrian reliefs of a king in a procession of gods and goddesses riding on animals and mythical creatures. The Assyrian carvings are almost 3,000 years...
Reconstruction of Noah's Ark

Noah’s Ark to be reconstructed following instructions on ancient Babylonian tablet

Work has begun on a full-scale reproduction of Noah’s Ark according to an ancient manual written on clay tablet dating back 3,700 years. The reconstruction will form the basis of a new television...
Assyrian Stele - Ancient Curse

Assyrian stele containing ancient curse will not be reunited with its other half

Whoever discards this image from the presence of Salmanu puts it into another place, whether he throws it into water or covers it with earth or brings and places it into a taboo house where it is...
Cuneiform tablet from Van fortress, Turkey    Source: Konstantin / Adobe Stock

AI Model Is Solving 4,500-Year-Old Cuneiform Translation Mysteries

Archaeologists just got infinitely smarter. AI is now successfully predicting lost passages of ancient texts, meaning 4,500-year-old cuneiform tablets, with missing sections, can now read. A deep-...
A door sill from the palace of King Adad-Nirari III, at Nimrud. Source: Michael Danti/

Archaeologists Salvage Inscribed Palace Door Threshold at City of Nimrud

A 6.5-foot (2 meters)-high threshold stone from the 9th and 8th century BC has been unearthed by archaeologists at the ancient Iraqi city of Nimrud. This is the first major excavation at the site...
This clay tablet in inscribed with one part of the Epic of Gilgamesh. It was most likely stolen from a historical site before it was sold to a museum in Iraq

Previously Unknown Lines to the Epic of Gilgamesh discovered in Stolen Cuneiform Tablet

An Assyriologist at the University of London (UCL) has discovered that a stolen clay tablet inscribed with ancient cuneiform text that was recently acquired by a museum in Iraq, contains 20...
Work using the Statue of Gilgamesh and Lamassu.    Source: CC BY 4.0

The Epic of Gilgamesh Unveiled: Enlightenment and Source of Religions

This retelling of key parts of the Epic explores the unconventional idea that Gilgamesh was not searching for life eternal on Earth, as has been suggested as the theme of the Epic, but was instead...
Sumerian chaos monster and sun god

Forget Death and Seek Life! Fascinating Insights into The Human Condition in 4,000-Year-Old Epic of Gilgamesh

“Forget death and seek life!” With these encouraging words, Gilgamesh, the star of the eponymous 4000-year-old epic poem, coins the world’s first heroic catchphrase. At the same time, the young king...
The Epic of Gilgamesh. Source: Luca Oleastri / Adobe.

The Epic of Gilgamesh Unveiled: Searching For a Way to the Home Planet

The Epic of Gilgamesh is regarded as one of mankind’s greatest literary and historical works. Many authors have studied the text in an effort to explain the nature of Gilgamesh’s tyranny and his...
Medieval stargazers. People have been fascinated by the stars and their possible influence over our lives, long before and after the time of Babylonian astrology.

Complex Astronomical and Astrological Systems Detailed on Ancient Assyrian Tablets

Archaeologists studying a group of five unique stone tablets dating to the first millennium in Babylonia and Assyria have announced that they reveal a hitherto unknown level of astronomical...
60 of the almost 100 cuneiform clay tablets were found at the archaeological site of Bassetki in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.

Almost 100 Cuneiform Clay Tablets Unearthed and Archaeologists Cannot Wait to Decipher Them

The discovery of ancient writing is always exciting for researchers. Documented events, letters, lists, literature – it is all helpful in reconstructing the story of our predecessors. Thus, the...
An example of the Proto-Sinaitic script.

The A to Z of Alphabet Origins and the Most Ancient Written Languages

Writing is traditionally regarded as one of the requirements for a society to be considered as a civilization. Various writing systems have been invented by the great civilizations of the world, one...
Ancient Sumerian song - cuneiform tablets

The ancient song recreated from 3,400-year-old cuneiform tablets

In 2014, scholars from the University of California at Berkeley brought to life the ancient sounds of Mesopotamia following the decryption and study of a set of ancient cuneiform texts that date back...
Assyrian Cuneiform

Deciphering Cuneiform to Get a Handle on Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

Cuneiform is a system of writing that was invented by the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia. Believed to have been created sometime during the 4th millennium BC (between 3500 and 3000 BC), this script...