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About cdli:wiki

Directly linked to the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative and born with it, cdli:wiki is now a collaborative project of members of the French CNRS team ArScAn-HAROC (Nanterre), and staff and students in the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford, with contributors in several different countries, involved in researches in history of the ancient Near East. In 2015-2019, the cdli:wiki has received funding by the Cluster (LabEx) Pasts in the Present through the project AssyrOnline: Digital Humanities and Assyriologie.



Adossé au programme international Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative et né avec lui, cdli:wiki est désormais un projet d’encyclopédie en ligne et d'outils de recherche assyriologique, qui fait collaborer des membres de l’équipe française du CNRS ArScAn-HAROC (Nanterre), et le staff et les étudiants de la Faculty of Oriental Studies de l'Université d'Oxford, avec les contributeurs dans plusieurs autres pays, engagés dans des recherches sur l'histoire du Proche-Orient ancien. En 2015-2019, le projet cdli:wiki a bénéficié d'un financement par le LabEx Les Passés dans le Présent dans le cadre du programme intitulé “AssyrOnline: Humanités numériques et assyriologie”.



Please note that the tools and main encyclopedic articles can be accessed through the menu on the left. Important tools such as lists of year names and eponyms are found under the section “Tools”, sub-section “Chronology & Dates”. Bibliographical ressources, such as Abbreviations for Assyriology, are found under “Bibliographical Tools”.

What is Assyriology?

Assyriology is the study of the languages, history, and culture of the people who used the ancient writing system called cuneiform. Cuneiform was used primarily in an area called the Near East, centred on Mesopotamia (modern Iraq and eastern Syria) where cuneiform was invented, but including the Northern Levant (Western Syria and Lebanon), parts of Anatolia, and western Iran. The sources for Assyriology are all archaeological, and include both inscribed and uninscribed objects. Most Assyriologists focus on the rich textual record from the ancient Near East, and specialise in either the study of language, literature, or history of the ancient Near East.

Assyriology began as an academic discipline with the recovery of the monuments of ancient Assyria, and the decipherment of cuneiform, in the middle of the 19th century. Large numbers of archaeological objects, including texts, were brought to museums in Europe and later the US, following the early excavations of Nineveh, Kalhu, Babylon, Girsu, Assur and so forth. Today Assyriology is studied in universities across the globe, both as an undergraduate and a graduate subject, and knowledge from the ancient Near East informs students of numerous other disciplines such as the History of Science, Archaeology, Classics, Biblical studies and more.

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What’s new in cdli:wiki?

  • Abbreviations for Assyriology
    Abbreviations for Assyriology A A: tablets in the collections of the Oriental Institute, Univ. of Chicago A2: lex. series a2 = idu A-tablet: lexical text, see MSL 13 10ff. Ä & L: Ägypten und Levante (Wien) Aa: lex. series a2 || A = naqu; MSL 14, 201ff.
  • Cuneiform Writing Techniques
    Cuneiform Writing Techniques (For an expanded version of this page, see ) The wedge   [Fig 1: The signs on this archaic cuneiform tablet, dating to the end of the 4th millennium BC (Uruk III), still display curved traits.]When cuneiform writing was first invented in ancient Sumer, the scribes scratched signs on the moist clay by means of a pointed instrument (fig. 1). Soon, however, they realized that it would be far more effective to impress m…
  • Ancient Near Eastern Writing Systems
    Ancient Near Eastern Writing Systems These pages deal with the different stages of the Mesopotamian cuneiform writing system, from its inception during the middle of the fourth millennium BC until its last attestation in 70 AD, as well as other cuneiform writing systems that were derived from it.
  • Cuneiform Collections
    Cuneiform Collections Since their discovery some 150 years ago cuneiform tablets have been discovered in both controlled and un-controlled excavations, and have been dispersed across the globe. Prior to the 1930's cuneiform tablets excavated in the Ancient Near East could be easily removed from the countries of origin as objects for study, collection, or sale, adding to the huge numbers of tablets in public and private collections in many countries.
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