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date: 18 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the evidence of the earliest writing systems used in Iran. The influence of the protocuneiform writing system used at Uruk and elsewhere in southern Mesopotamia is stressed, as is the later, independent development of proto-Elamite, a system with distinctly un-Mesopotamian features. The archaeological contexts of the earliest examples of writing at Susa are discussed, along with early attempts to assemble sign-lists and decipher these texts. Current approaches to the signary and decipherment are treated, as are the distinctive numerical systems of the earliest texts. The late third millennium, so-called Linear Elamite texts are also discussed.

Keywords: protocuneiform, proto-Elamite, Linear Elamite, writing systems, decipherment

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