All  

cuneiform

Relief image on the Tablet of Shamash, British Library room 55. Found in Sippar (Tell Abu Habbah), in Ancient Babylonia; it dates from the 9th century BC and shows the sun god Shamash on the throne, in front of the Babylonian king Nabu-apla-iddina (888-855 BC) between two interceding deities. The Babylonian language text tells how the king made a new cultic statue for the god and gave privileges to his temple.

Ancient Babylonian Reborn After Having Been Silenced for 2000 Years

Almost 2,000 years after falling out of use, a Cambridge University linguistics specialist, Dr. Martin Worthington has learned how to speak ancient Babylonian and is not only campaigning to revive it...
Illustration of an ancient city in Mesopotamia.

Hoard of Ancient Tablets Found in Iraq Reveal Location of Lost Royal City of Mardama

In an exciting discovery, archaeologists have found the location of the lost royal city of Mardama. The ancient Hurrian city had laid buried for millennia until archaeologists unearthed the remains...
A cuneiform tablet seized from Hobby Lobby. This tablet contains economic/administrative information.

450 Stolen Sumerian Tablets are on Their Way Back to Iraq, but it is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

450 Stolen Sumerian tablets are being repatriated to Iraq with a ceremony in Washington D.C. on May 2. Many of the cuneiform texts come from a mysterious city called Irisagrig – a land from which...
Cult scene: the worship of the sun-god, Shamash. Limestone cylinder-seal, Mesopotamia.

Reading the So-Called Sumerian Seals Relating to Gods from Outer Space

In a recent article on Ancient Origins , Jason Jarrell and Sarah Farmer discussed the possibility that Zecharia Sitchin mistranslated several Sumerian Texts. According to Sitchin, there were a number...
 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...
Photo of Zecharia Sitchin (left)(CC0)Akkadian cylinder seal dating to circa 2300 BC depicting the deities Inanna, Utu, and Enki, three members of the Anunnaki.(right)

Zecharia Sitchin and the Mistranslation of Sumerian Texts

In a previous 2-part article (1), the authors wrote about the faulty associations of the Sumerian deities known as the Anunnaki as they are portrayed in the books, television series, and other media...
A cylinder seal impression, ca. 2100 BC, sometimes interpreted as Ur-Nammu (seated) bestowing governorship on Ḫašḫamer, ensi of Iškun-Sin.

The Code of Ur-Nammu: When Ancient Sumerians Laid Down the Law, Everyone Obeyed

The Code of Ur-Nammu is the oldest surviving law code. This text was written on clay tablets in the Sumerian language and is reckoned to have been produced towards the end of the 3rd millennium BC...
Cuneiform tablet known as Letter ZTT 22. (Credit: Ziyaret Tepe Archaeological Project)

Archaeologists Uncovered an Archive that Narrates Ancient Assyria’s Fall

A group of archaeologists digging at the site of Ziyaret Tepe in southeastern Turkey, has uncovered a unique cuneiform tablet that narrates a tale of exasperation and disappointment reported by an...
Cuneiform tablet containing details about infertility. Credit: Istanbul Archaeology Museum

4,000-Year-Old Assyrian Tablet Makes First Known Infertility Diagnosis and Recommends Slave Surrogate

A 4,000-year-old Assyrian tablet discovered in central Kayseri province, Turkey, is an ancient marriage contract with the first known diagnosis of infertility. The clay record says that the wife...
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...
relief at the ancient Persian city of Persepolis (now in modern Iran), including inscriptions in cuneiform, the world’s oldest form of writing.

The Controversial Road to the Recovery of Cuneiform Texts

It is a little-known piece of history that Saddam Hussein was a great fan of ancient Mesopotamian literature. His enthusiasm for epics written in cuneiform – the world’s oldest known form of writing...
Left (Wally Gobetz/CC BY NC ND 2.0) and right (Wally Gobetz/CC BY NC ND 2.0): Brooklyn Museum - Reliefs of King Ashur-nasir-pal II - Standard Inscription. Detail of cuneiform script. Center: British Museum, Assyrian collections (Room 10) cuneiform inscription.

Deciphering Cuneiform: Helping Scholars 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...
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...
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...
Leaving an Impression: Revealing the Intricate Story of Sumerian Cylinder Seals

Leaving an Impression: Revealing the Intricate Story of Sumerian Cylinder Seals

A cylinder seal is a small cylindrical object with images, words, or both, engraved onto it. Sumerian cylinder seals would be rolled over wet clay to make an impression. When the clay dried, a seal...
Trading in the Bronze Age: Living the High Life in the Great City of Ugarit

Trading in the Bronze Age: Living the High Life in the Great City of Ugarit

Ugarit is an ancient city located on the coast of Syria. The ruins of this site are in the form of a tell (or mound) known as Ras Shamra, and are situated 10 km (6.2 miles) to the north of Latakia,...

Pages