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Assyria was a Mesopotamian empire that grew out of the city-state of Ashur. It was one of the greatest empires in Mesopotamia, together with the Akkadian Empire of Sargon the Great and the Babylonian Empire under Hammurabi. At its height, the Assyrian Empire extended from Anatolia in the west, to Armenia in the... [continue reading]
The history of the alphabet started in ancient Egypt. By 2700 BCE Egyptian writing had a set of some 22 hieroglyphs to represent syllables that begin with a single consonant of their language, plus a vowel (or no vowel) to be supplied by the native speaker. These glyphs were used as pronunciation guides for logograms, to write grammatical inflections, and... [continue reading]
Cuneiform is a system of writing first developed by the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia c. 5000 BCE. The name comes from the Latin word cuneus for `wedge' owing to the wedge-shaped style of writing. In cuneiform, a carefully cut writing implement known as a stylus is pressed into soft clay to produce wedge-like impressions which represent word-signs (pictographs... [continue reading]