SLEMANI MUSEUM

languages and Inscribes Stones

languages and Inscribes Stones

languages and Scripts

The four main written languages of
historical Iraq are Sumerian and Akkadian
- both written in syllabic cuneiform signs,
and Aramaic and Arabic - written using
alphabets. Akkadian, Aramaic, and Arabic
are Semitic languages. Aramaic is still
used by some communities, while Kurdish,
an Indo-european language, is today
currently spoken in the Kurdish regions. For
over 3,000 years cuneiform was used in
Mesopotamia to write Akkadian, Babylonian,
Assyrian, Elamite, Hittite, Urartian and Old
Persian. Cuneiform signs were written on
clay and wax tablets, carved onto stone
and metal. Damp clay was formed into a
flat tablet onto which the writer pressed a
stylus made from reed, wood, metal or ivory.
With the advent of parchment, papyrus,
and paper, cursive writing with pen and ink
tools gradually replaced cuneiform and clay
tablets. Cursive writing is still in use today

Inscribes Stones
Old Babylonian to Sassanian period
Texts were carved into stone for the
celebration and glory of kings on various
occasions, such as the founding of a city or
a temple, and military victories. The museum
collection contains architectural elements
bearing decorations and cuneiform writing,
and an important collection of inscribed
stones