Mesopotamia writing alphabet worksheets

But things changed when the Language Detective, Henry Rawlinson, a British officer in the s, went hiking in the countryside in Persia now called the country of Iran. Soon, the clever ancient Sumerians started to use wedge-shaped symbols for objects and ideas instead of pictures.

As Sumerian towns grew into cities, the people needed a way to keep track of business transactions, ownership rights, and government records.

cuneiform worksheets for middle school

However, many Sumerian tablets have been deciphered. Cuneiform writing was around for thousands of years until it was replaced by the Phoenician alphabet near the end of the neo-Assyrian Empire. This type of writing is called cuneiform writing, which means "wedge-shaped".

Sumerians writing system

Pictographs worked, but hey were rather cumbersome. This literature includes mythology of the Mesopotamian gods, tales of their heroes, poetry, and songs. That was the break scientists needed. This type of writing is called cuneiform writing, which means "wedge-shaped". The same sort of thing happened in Egypt, when they found the Rosetta Stone , which helped scientists understand ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. They could guess at the meaning of other symbols around the symbols they understood. The symbols often changed over time as well. Cuneiform is still not easy to read since the meaning of some of the symbols changed over time, as language changed. Over time, however, the writing of the Sumerians further developed to include sounds and meanings. As the civilization of Sumer started to decline, other civilizations continued to use the Sumerian written symbols. It had been thousands of years since anyone had written or read cuneiform. As Sumerian towns grew into cities, the people needed a way to keep track of business transactions, ownership rights, and government records. It began as pictographs, pictures of things that acted as words. It was initially used in Mesopotamia to write Sumerian, but later was used for Akkadian which the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Babylonians, and the Assyrians all spoke.

It had been thousands of years since anyone had written or read cuneiform. Cuneiform became the written language from as early as BC. But thanks to the Language Detective, and a carving on a cliff, with patience and effort, it can be deciphered.

Mesopotamia writing alphabet worksheets

The story was told in pictures, in cuneiform, and in another writing similar to an East Indian language that Henry Rawlinson already could read and write. This is because there were over different symbols and the symbols' meaning and shapes could change between different cities and regions. It began as pictographs, pictures of things that acted as words. Around BC the Sumerians began to use picture symbols marked into clay tablets to keep their records. Hieroglyphics was invented in Ancient Egypt about the same time as cuneiform in Mesopotamia, but scientists believe that cuneiform came first. The same story was told in three different ways so that most probably, in ancient times, everyone could understand it. Translating Translating Mesopotamian writing is difficult for archeologists today. They not only invented writing, they also invented the first sailboat and the wheel - three very important inventions in ancient times, each having a huge effect on the culture of these ancient people. The same sort of thing happened in Egypt, when they found the Rosetta Stone , which helped scientists understand ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Once they were done, they would let the clay harden and they had a permanent record. They kept excellent records and lists of things. Once they understood a few words in cuneiform, they could build on that and start recognizing the same symbol on tablets and documents. Ultimately, the use of cuneiform died out and was replaced with other written languages. Activities Take a ten question quiz about this page.

They were such a clever people. This picture told the story of an ancient king, his servants, and some prisoners.

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Cuneiform worksheet