Cuneiform in the Hittite Empire



Cuneiform was also adapted to the Hittite language of Asia Minor  in the middle of the second millennium bc. Hittite was an Indo-  European language, a member of the same linguistic family as English.  Like the Urartians, the Hittites chose to borrow a good number of the  ancient Sumerian logograms along with the Akkadian syllabary.





The Hittite Empire


Cuneiform in the Persian Empire


Darius I


The idea of cuneiform - a script consisting of impressed wedge-shaped  signs - spread yet further. Old Persian, the Indo-European language  that came to share and then dominate the Elamite language area, is  the language of a number of cuneiform-type royal inscriptions from  the Achaemenid dynasty, which ruled Persia from 559 to 331 bc and  included the famous kings Cyrus, Darius, and Xerxes. Luckily for later  decipherers of cuneiform, Darius had a fondness for commemorative  inscriptions; but the Old Persian script was not otherwise much used.  It was midway between an alphabet and a simple syllabary.

Seal of Darius the Great  with Old Persian cuneiform


The last use of Cuneiform at Ugarit


There is one final use to which the cuneiform style of writing was  put. The last version of cuneiform to become known to the modern  world was discovered in 1929 at what is now Ras Shamra on the  coast of Syria. The site was once the Canaanite city of Ugarit in modern day Syria, which  flourished between the fifteenth and twelfth centuries B.C.   The Ugaritic script consisted of only 27 to 30 signs, depending on  the context in which it was used. A cuneiform script used as an alphabet .






Cuneiform in the Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian Empires