What is the oldest language known to mankind

The world of cuneiform writing



Cuneiform writing in various materials (from left to right: clay, lapis lazuli and gold).

The cuneiform script is the oldest script in the world. It was made around 3,400 BC. Invented and then used for the following 3 ½ millennia.
Their place of origin lies in the south of what is now Iraq, an area which the Greeks called “Mesopotamia”, which means “between the rivers”. The world of cuneiform writing, however, extended much further in all four directions. It included not only the territory of Iraq, but also parts of Iran, Turkey and Syria. In addition, cuneiform tablets were found in Bahrain and Achet-Aton, an ancient city in Egypt.
This writing system was primarily developed for the Sumerian language, but was subsequently adopted and adapted for Akkadian and its two dialects, Assyrian and Babylonian, as well as many other languages.


Cuneiform writer
(Drawing: Xavier Faivre)

This page would like to bring the ancient Orient and its civilization in all its facets closer to the interested reader. Various materials have been compiled, for example in the form of a short film on cuneiform script, maps and documents for downloading, as well as further internet sources and bibliography.