Treaties, description of wars and anthems to the gods were also recorded on tablets. Ugaritic letters The Journal of Cuneiform Studies is authoritative periodical on Mesopotamian writing. The Behistun Rock also allowed Rawlinson to decipher Babylonian.
The inexperienced Talbot had made a number of mistakes, and Oppert's translation contained a few doubtful passages which the jury politely ascribed to his unfamiliarity with the English language. Past Horizons : online magazine site covering archaeology and heritage news as well as news on other science fields; The Archaeology Channel archaeologychannel.
Scribes would take a stylus a stick made from a reed and press the lines and symbols into soft, moist clay. He figured out that one of the unknown languages represented by the cuneiform writing from Persepolis was Old Persian based on the words for Persian kings and then translated the phonetic value of each symbol.
The symbols often changed over time as well. Because cuneiform was written in clay rather than on paper on papyrus and important texts were baked for posterity, a large number of readable tablets have survived to modern times.
The University of Pennsylvania contains the world's largest collection of Sumerian cuneiform tablets. Some cylinder seals produced reliefs that were quite elaborate, made up of scores of images and markings. Early linguists decided that cuneiform was most likely an alphabet because 22 major signs appeared again and again.
Of about 10, known Sumerian tablets, the University of Pennsylvania contains about 3, of them.