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. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  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. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Akkadian of the Eastern Mediterranean World
    This project is directed by J. Lauinger (Johns Hopkins University) and M. Rutz (Brown University) and presents archival texts written in Akkadian from various Eastern Mediterranean sites.
  10. The Ashurbanipal Library Project
    The Ashurbanipal Library Project, managed by J. Taylor (British Museum), collects and documents around 30,000 cuneiform tablets and fragments that belonged to the Library of Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria (668-c. 630 BC), and that were excavated by the British Museum in the 19th and the 20th centuries at the site of Nineveh, the last capital of Assyria.
  11. Archival Texts of the Assyrian Empire
    Ce projet créé à la Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität de Munich présente des éditions en ligne de textes cunéiformes à contenu juridique et administratif provenant de divers sites du centre et des provinces du territoire de l'empire assyrien (Quyunjiq, Qal'at Sherqaṭ, Nimrud, Tell Shiukh Fawqani, Tell Sheikh Ḥamad, Tell Halaf, Sultantepe, Balawat, Kahramanmaraş, Zinçirli, Tell Billa, Tell Ahmar et Ziyaret Tepe).
  12. Corpus of Ancient Mesopotamian Scholarship
    The CAMS project, constituted by various independent projects, includes online editions of numerous Mesopotamian scholarly texts.
  13. Royal Inscriptions of Assyria Online
    The aim of this project, managed by J. Novotny and K. Radner and based at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Historisches Seminar, is to make the whole corpus of the Assyrian royal inscriptions fully accessible via open-access editions.
  14. Royal Inscriptions of Babylonia Online
    The entire corpus of Babylonian royal inscriptions from the Second Dynasty of Isin to the Neo-Babylonian Dynasty (1157-539 BC) is now accessible through this online project based at the Historisches Seminar of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, and managed by J. Novotny and K. Radner.
  15. Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period
    Directed by G. Frame at the University of Pennsylvania, this online corpus presents editions of the royal inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian kings Tiglath-pileser III (744-727 BC), Shalmaneser V (726-722 BC), Sennacherib (704-681 BC), Esarhaddon (680-669 BC), Ashurbanipal (668-631 BC), Aššur-etel-ilāni (630-627 BC), and Sîn-šarra-iškun (626-612 BC).
  16. State Archives of Assyria Online
    An online and updated version of the “State Archives of Assyria” series edited since 1987 by the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project of the University of Helsinki under the direction of Professor S. Parpola. The corpus comprises letters from royal correspondence, treaties, legal and administrative documents, royal grants and decrees, court literary texts, divinatory texts and astrological reports, prophecies, and ritual texts.
  17. Text Corpus of Middle Assyrian
    The TCMA portal was created by J. J. de Ridder and offers editions of Middle Assyrian documents and letters from Assur and other sites in Northern Mesopotamia.

Institutions, centers for study and research

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Academic materials

  1. 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.
  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. 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.
  4. Akkadian Dictionary Online
    An online Akkadian dictionary maintained by the Association Assyrophile de France.
  5. 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. Old Babylonian and Neo-Assyrian fonts

  2. Akkadian (Ur III)

  3. Cuneiform Unicode fonts