Ancient writing systems in the Mediterranean

A critical guide to electronic resources

Akkadian Cuneiform

- (2350 B.C. - 100 A.D. ca.)

Online resources

Online documents

  1. The Cuneiform Digital Palaeography Project (University of Birmingham)
    The systematic cataloguing of the signs of the Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform script is the aim of this ambitious project directed by A. Livingstone (University of Birmingham). The foundation of this online palaeography of cuneiform will be made through the insertion in the catalogue of digital pictures of the individual signs as they appear to be impressed on the clay of the tablets. This will make it possible to go beyond the limits of the 2D rendering of the signs of the modern lists of signs and to realize a repertory of 3D sign forms. The palaeographic evidence taken into account embraces the whole Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform documentation, from the Early Dynastic to the beginning of the Christian era, both on clay and on other materials.
  2. Laboratorio di Assiriologia di Pisa (Università degli studi di Pisa)
    Among the activities of the Laboratory of Assyriology, directed by C. Saporetti, there is also the project entitled "Duplicazione e Rinascita", aimed at cataloguing the texts written in cuneiform and the objects of the Iraq Museum of Baghdad. The cataloguing process also comprises the virtual reproduction of the clay tablets and other writing media and the creation of casts from them.
  3. Digital Hammurabi (John Hopkins University)
    A multidisciplinary project created by the John Hopkins University for the scanning and 3D visualization of the cuneiform tablets in high resolution. Pdf articles concerning the applied methods of digitalization are also included on the site.

Academic materials

  1. Akkadien
    Personal site of A. Lassine with a list of around 600 Akkadian cuneiform signs in Neo-Assyrian orthography and their phonetic values.
  2. Assyrian Empire Builders
    The site concerns the Neo-Assyrian texts of the royal archives of Nineveh and it is maintained by K. Radner and M. Luukko (University College London). This online project aims to make the royal correspondence of Sargon II's reign (722-705 BC) more widely accessible. The letters, in Assyrian and Babylonian language, are given in transliteration and translation, with glossary. Among the several facilities of this site there are also short essays on various topics concerning the Assyrian empire of the first millennium BC (e.g., the kings, the governors, the soldiers, the conquered countries, etc.) and pictures of Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian letters.
  3. Mesopotamia: Writing
    An introductive site to cuneiform writing for students created by the British Museum. Several pictures of cuneiform signs on tablets complete the pages about the diachronic development of the cuneiform script. Other images allow the exploration of the world of scribal activity; some examples of writing media and formats of cuneiform inscriptions on clay and stone are illustrated (circular and rectangular tablets, prisms and cylinders, bricks, palace wall reliefs, cylinder seals). The image catalogue of the site also includes an exemplar of a stylus and an ivory writing board for writing on wax.
  4. Iraq: Navel of the World
    This site, created by the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, includes a section entitled "Writing", with pages devoted to the cuneiform script and pictures of tablets and a rare ivory stylus from Nimrud of Neo-Assyrian period.
  5. Knowledge and Power in the Neo-Assyrian Empire
    Directed by K. Radner (University College London), E. Robson (University of Cambridge) and Steve Tinney (University of Pennsylvania); an educational site introducing the Neo-Assyrian period and texts, with some texts (letters, literary texts, astrological reports, divination texts) and pictures of Neo-Assyrian tablets from the British Museum. The site includes pages concerning cuneiform writing, its decipherment, the writing media used by the Assyrians and various teaching resources for the study of the Assyrian empire of the first millennium BC.
  6. The Geography of Knowledge in Assyria and Babylonia: A Diachronical Analysis of Four Scholarly Libraries
    The site, directed by E. Robson (University of Cambridge) and S. Tinney (University of Pennsylvania), intends to publish the content of four important libraries of Assyria and Babylonia of the first millennium BC (the library of the Temple of Nabû at Kalhu, a library located close to the house of a priestly family of Huzirina, the library of a private house of exorcists at Uruk, the temple library of Rēš at Uruk). It also promotes the study of the contexts of production, transmission, and use of the knowledge generated from these learning centres. The texts are given in transliteration and translation.
  7. Akkadian Dictionary Online
    An online Akkadian dictionary maintained by the Association Assyrophile de France.
  8. A Concise Dictionary of Akkadian: Addenda, Corrigenda, and Supporting Bibliography
    Updates to the dictionary of J. Black, A. George and N. Postgate, A Concise Dictionary of Akkadian (Santag, Arbeiten und Untersuchungen zur Keilschriftkunde 5), Wiesbaden 2000.


  1. The Babylonian Nineveh Texts
    Directed by J.C. Fincke (Universität Heidelberg). A catalogue of Babylonian texts coming from Assurbanipal's royal library at Nineveh and held in the British Museum. The catalogue also offers a brief description of the content of the texts and relevant bibliography.
  2. Sources of Early Akkadian Literature
    An online text corpus project founded by the German Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and maintained by M. P. Streck (Universität Leipzig) and N. Wasserman (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem). The project aims to present a complete edition of the Akkadian literary texts of the third and second millennia BC.
  3. Livius
    The site, maintained by J. Lendering, under the entries “Assyria” and “Babylonia”, offers translations of Assyrian and Babylonian chronicles, with pictures of tablets and inscribed cylinders (e.g. the cylinders of Nabonidus, Cyrus, and Antiochus I Soter).
  4. Hellenistic Babylonia: Texts, Images and Names (University of California, Berkeley)
    The site is maintained by L. Pearce and introduces the world of Hellenistic Babylonia. Texts of various content in transliterations and translations and pictures of seal impressions on tablets of the Hellenistic age are included.
  5. Digital Corpus of Cuneiform Mathematical Texts
    The site, directed by E. Robson (University of Cambridge), offers transliterations and translations of mathematic texts of several periods of Mesopotamian history, from Uruk IV to the Seleucid era.
  6. Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (University of California, Los Angeles, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin)
    A project for the digitalization of cuneiform texts from the Sumerian period to the Seleucid era. The project is supported by the principal museums which hold collections of tablets and other inscribed materials, among which the British Museum in London, the Iraq Museum of Baghdad, the Vorderasiatisches Museum of Berlin, the Oriental Institute Museum of Chicago. The project intends to offer identification details, bibliography, transliteration and translation, photograph or hand copy of the writing medium for every text.
  7. Digital Corpus of Cuneiform Lexical Texts (University of California, Berkeley)
    Directed by N. Veldhuis (University of California), the site offers a catalogue of Sumerian and Akkadian cuneiform lexical lists of every period comprised between 3200 BC and 100 AD. There are introductive pages devoted to the treatment of the genre of the lexical list, the conventions used in the tablets, the signs, the archaic lexical lists, the classification of the lists of the third millennium BC and the Old Babylonian period.
  8. Cuneiform Commentaries Project
    The project, funded by Yale University and the National Endowment for the Humanities, makes the corpus of cuneiform commentaries (around 8th-2nd cent. BC) available through transliterations, translations, photos and copies of the tablets.
  9. Bilinguals in Late Mesopotamian Scholarship
    The project, directed and maintained by Steve Tinney (University of Pennsylvania) and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, presents an updated edition of the bilingual Sumero-Akkadian texts of the first millennium BC.
  10. Edition literarischer Keilschrifttexte aus Assur
    This project, based at the Seminar für Sprachen und Kulturen des Vorderen Orients (Section of Assyriology) of the University of Heidelberg and funded by the Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, aims at publishing all the Assyrian literary texts unearthed during the German excavations in the city of Assur (Qal‘at Šerqaṭ) at the beginning of the 20th century and currently kept at the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin.


  1. Cuneiform Unicode fonts

  2. Akkadian (Ur III)

  3. Sumero-Akkadian Cuneiform

  4. Old Babylonian and Neo-Assyrian fonts

  5. Cuneiform fonts for TeX/LaTeX/PDFLaTeX