Cuneiform Alphabet

What is Sumer?

Sumer is one of the earliest civilizations in the world, and also the earliest known in the region of historical Mesopotamia, which is in the majority of modern-day Iraq. Sumer emerged during the early Bronze Ages and the Chalcolithic era, which was the sixth and fifth millennium BC. Sumer is considered the cradle of many civilizations, which includes the ancient Egyptian empire, Elam, the Olmecs, and all Indus Valley civilizations.

This also includes some parts of ancient southern China. The Sumer people lived along the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates where Sumerian farmers practiced new agricultural methods for an abundance of grain and similar crops. The surplus of these crops changed the original hunter/gather dynamic into more urbanized areas because of surplus resources. The Sumer invented one of the earliest Proto-writing methods, primarily in the cities of Uruk and Jemdet Nasr around 3500BC. This includes the alphabet called cuneiform, which are inscriptions and blocks of texts - the pretense to many written forms of language derivations today.

The Sumerian civilization eventually was lost to the Semitic states of the northwest, being conquered by the Akkadian Empire in 2270BC, but the kings held Sumerians in high regard and retained their structure for sacred circumstances.

What is Cuneiform?

Cuneiform is a script that uses the logo-syllabic structure and was the precursor to many written languages in the Ancient Middle East. By many accounts, Cuneiform is considered the earliest written language that has persisted for many years, although verbal languages were spoken much earlier. The need for the written word was made possible by a growing population, as it was becoming increasingly difficult to manage urbanized agrarian areas by simply utilizing the chieftain structure that was known for many years prior in various other tribes and peoples.

Although cuneiform was used for thousands of years in ancient antiquity, the latest known cuneiform tablet dates to 75AD, meaning that the significance of this language persisted across civilizations, cultures, and interpretations. Once the Akkadian empire had conquered the ancient Sumerian kingdom, the Akkadians adapted the cuneiform and influenced it to write the Hittite languages in the early 2000s BC. Old Persian and Ugaritic alphabets also feature the cuneiform style of signs but are completely unrelated to the logo-syllabary style.

What is the History of Cuneiforms?

The history of Cuneiform is the history of the written word. Before this, there was no need to write anything down, as accounts and knowledge was passed down by sharing wisdom with younger generations and shadowing them while they were doing vital tasks, such as pottery, toolmaking, and hunting. When the wheel was invented to create pottery, the brilliant idea of writing things down to record them began to take the form of clay tokens. Before this, walls and statues were designed with pictures and recreations of events. With clay tokens, people were able to record certain information, mainly numbers - which kept an inventory of supplies that were stored for winter.