cuneiform
Definition - A Mesopotamian phonetic syllabary script consisting of about 600 symbols, 300 of which were used regularly.
Note: It emerged in Sumer circa the 30th century BC.

Example -

An example of Akkadian cuneiform script.
An example of Akkadian cuneiform script.


Etymology -
Cuneiform documents were written on clay tablets using a blunt reed stylus. The descriptive name cuneiform, wedge shaped (from Latin cuneus, wedge) arose because the marks the stylus made were wedge shaped.

Oxford English Dictionary -
The first citation for the term is from 1818:
"The cuneiform character is so simple in its component parts, that it … consists only of two elements, the wedge and the rectangle."
(W. Taylor in Monthly Rev. LXXXV. 486)



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