June 8, 2023


Complete Canadian News World

Artificial intelligence will help decipher cuneiform tablets from thousands of years ago

Cuneiform writing was invented in the ancient Near East. It had many variations and was used to write many languages, such as Sumerian, Akkadian, Hittite, and Old Persian. It has a complex structure, because the same letters can represent both specific words and carry a phonetic or grammatical value.

For example, one of the letters in the Akkadian language (“ud”) originally meant the sun, but it also appears in 17 phonetic functions and six context-dependent meaningful functions. So, even the transliteration of cuneiform into the Latin alphabet presupposes interpretation.