Re: Stroke order for producing cuneiform signs

From: Dean Snyder (
Date: Thu May 02 2002 - 13:53:53 EDT

on Thu, 2 May 2002 11:24:12 +0100 William Overington wrote:

>I have no knowledge whatsoever as to whether such an
>illustration showing stroke order is unnecessary, just right or insufficient
>for the needs of researchers seeking to study cuneiform writing.

Wedge ordering can be useful for determining difficult to read signs,
including signs that are effaced or otherwise damaged. It is also one
criterion useful in determining scribal schools and scribal hands.

>On the matter of cuneiform writing, I read that originally people were
>unable to decipher the writing. How did the writing come to be deciphered

The trilingual Behistun inscription was crucial to the decipherment of
cuneiform. For example, on the web see:


I try to practice "trigonometric philology" ;-) I.e., "It's always better
to triangulate from two knowns to an unknown."


Dean A. Snyder
Senior Information Technology Specialist, Humanities
Krieger School of Arts & Sciences
The Johns Hopkins University
426A Gilman Hall/3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21218
410 516-6021 office
410 961-8943 portable

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