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How to Read Signs


Artifact: Clay tablet
Period: Old Babylonian (ca. 1900-1600 BC)
Current location: Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Ashm 1923-401)
Text genre, language: Lexical; Diri
CDLI page

Description: Ashm 1923-400 and Ashm 1923-401 are two square prisms containing two overlapping parts of a forerunner to the lexical series Diri : SI.A : watru. Together with Old Babylonian versions from Nippur and Sippar "Diri Oxford" lists compound logograms and their Akkadian translations. The Nippur-version additionally gives the respective readings. Diri was identified as a supplemental sign vocabulary to the list Ea : A : nâqu, whose entries follow the same pattern. (In the canonical version from the late 2nd and 1st millennia) the first column contains syllabically written sign-readings, which are followed by compound logograms in the second column. A third column in the late versions contains analytical writings for the signs used in the compounds. Finally the compilers added an Akkadian translation. The readings can - in most cases - not be directly implied from the constituents of the compound logograms. Given the high amount of Diri-composita in Sumerian texts, the list holds a key to the Sumerian phonetics. (Klaus Wagensonner, University of Oxford)

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how_to_read_signs.txt · Last modified: 2016/04/21 15:28 by wagensonner
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