220px-Trilingual inscription of Xerxes, Van, 1973.jpg

Cuneiform, meaning "wedge shaped", is one of the earliest known writing systems in the World. It is a was invented by the Sumerians,[1] and evolved throughout the Akkadian Empire, and Ancient Babylon. The script is distinguished by its wedge-shaped marks on clay tablets, typically made by means of a blunt reed for a stylus.

Biblical archaeology[edit | edit source]

Near the Ishtar Gate in Babylon some 300 cuneiform tablets were uncovered relating to the period of King Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. Among lists of the names of workers and captives then living in Babylon to whom provisions were given appears that of “Yaukin, king of the land of Yahud,” that is, “Jehoiachin, the king of the land of Judah,” who was taken to Babylon at the time of Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Jerusalem in 617 BCE. According to the Hebrew Scriptures, he was released from the house of detention by Awil-Marduk (Evil-merodach), Nebuchadnezzar’s successor, and was given a daily allowance of food (2Ki 25:27-30). Five of Jehoiachin’s sons are also mentioned on these tablets (1Ch 3:17, 18).[2]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Egyptian hieroglyphs date to about the same period, and it is unsettled which system began first. See Visible Language. Inventions of Writing in the Ancient Middle East and Beyond, Oriental Institute Museum Publications, 32, Chicago: University of Chicago, p. 13, ISBN 978-1-885923-76-9
  2. Insight (1988) vol.1, pp. 147-156
Further reading
  • Thomas Hyde, Historia Religionis Veterum Persarum, … [History of religion of the ancient Persians … ] (Oxford, England: Sheldonian Theater, 1700), p. 526. [in Latin] On pages 526–527
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