Linear Elamite — ~2200 BC?, Iran

Linear Elamite “shi”

Linear Elamite — also called “Old Elamite” — was the outgrowth of proto-Elamite in modern-day Iran.

We tend to think of languages as either “deciphered” or “undeciphered”, but Linear Elamite is currently partially deciphered and likely to stay that way until more artifacts are uncovered.

It has been difficult to decipher because there are only twenty-two texts as of this writing.  In addition, Elamite appears to be a language isolate.   However, some of the artifacts have long sets of text in both Linear Elamite and Akkadian cuneiform, which helps.

There are about 80 glyphs in the twenty-two existing texts, which is more than most syllabaries but way less than most logographic languages.  It is likely that it was mostly syllabic, but with some logograms here and there.

Links: Wikipedia, Ancient Scripts, Omniglot, Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative

About ducky

I'm a computer programmer professionally, currently working on mapping applications. I have been interested non-professionally for a long time in the effect on society on advances in communications technology -- things like writing, vowels, spaces between words, paper, etc.
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  1. Pingback: Elamite cuneiform — 2200 BC, Iran | Glyph of the Day

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