Friday, November 19, 2021

Wikipedia List of cuneiform signs

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Cuneiform is one of the earliest systems of writing, emerging in Sumer in the late fourth millennium BC.

The signs in the following list are ordered by their 2004 Borger number (MesZL). Archaic versions of cuneiform writing, including the Ur III (and earlier, ED III cuneiform of literature such as The Barton Cylinder) are not included due to extreme complexity of arranging them consistently and unequivocally by the shape of their signs;[1] see Early Dynastic Cuneiform for the Unicode block.

The columns within the list contain:

  1. MesZL: The sign numbers of Rykle Borger's Mesopotamisches Zeichenlexikon (2004);
  2. ŠL/HA: The Deimel Numbers from Šumerisches Lexikon (ŠL), completed and accommodated in Ellermeier and Studt's Handbuch Assur (HA);
  3. aBZL: The numbers of Mittermayer's Altbabylonische Zeichenliste der sumerisch-literarischen Texte (2006);
  4. HethZL: The numbers of Rüster and Neu's Hethitisches Zeichenlexikon (1989);
  5. Sign Name according to MesZL, HA etc.;
  6. The Unicode code points numbers (»A & B« and »A & B & C« indicates the numerous characters that must be written by combining two or three shorter signs);
  7. The Unicode sign names;

In MesZL, signs are sorted by their leftmost parts, beginning with horizontal strokes (single , then stacked TAB, 16), followed by the diagonals GE23 and GE22, the Winkelhaken U and finally the vertical DIŠ. The relevant shape for the classification of a sign is the Neo-Assyrian one (after ca. 1000 BC); the standardization of sign shapes of this late period allows systematic arrangement by shape.

The difference between the conventional sign names - they are used in MesZL, HA, aBZL and other standard publications - and the names in the Unicode 5.0 cuneiform encoding standard is often very significant. So the Unicode names as well as the standard ones are listed.

At the complete sign list as PDF with all cuneiform signs and with an introduction by Rykle Borger is to be found.


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