Visible Language Series

Lecture: The Origins and Development of the Cuneiform Script

On Wednesday, October 13, "The Origins and Development of the Cuneiform Script" will explore the earliest known writing system in the world. The cuneiform script was used in the ancient Near East for over 3,000 years. It originally developed as a means of accounting and was associated first with the city of Uruk, in what is now southern Iraq. Cuneiform was ultimately adopted for languages as diverse as Sumerian, Akkadian, and Hittite. This lecture offers an introduction to the cuneiform script, with particular attention to its origins, construction, alignment, and dispersion. Dr. Benjamin John Studevent-Hickman is the speaker. He is Lecturer on Assyriology, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University.



A merchant’s receipt for 1500 liters of grain from the Ur III period (2112–2004 BC), written in cuneiform script. PM 66-27-60/12127.1.

Wednesday, October 13: "The Origins and Development of the Cuneiform Script"

5:30 PM Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA, followed by a public reception at the Peabody Museum.

Information: 617-496-1027

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