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Urartian writing

Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631214816.1999.x


Closely related to Hurrian, Urartian was spoken north of Assyria in the Lake Van area between 1500 and 500 bce . It was written in Assyrian cuneiform with minor adjustments. A distinguishing feature is that in Assyrian crossing wedges are superimposed one over the other, while in Urartian horizontal wedges are usually written separately when crossed by vertical ones. The oldest inscriptions date from the ninth century bce , when bilingual Urartian scribes first adapted the cuneiform script to their own language. Decipherment was facilitated by a couple of bilingual Assyrian–Urartian inscriptions. The direction of Urartian writing, like that of Assyrian, is from left to right. The script comprises S yllabograms , D eterminatives and L ogograms. Under the influence of Assyrian writing, the Urartian scribes also used many S umerograms. See also C uneiform writing. Reading Diakonoff and Starostin 1986. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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