Subsection of Chapter `Cuneiform' of John Heise's `Akkadian language', with some of most important cuneiform signs.
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With this top-20 one could read 50% of the signs in the Codex Hammurabi (whereas 40 signs would be good for 75% of the text, the remaining 25% is scattered over a large number of less frequently used signs). The total number of cuneiform signs is of order 600. The frequency of the use of the signs depends very much on the epoch and type of the text.

The sign list contains at least three items:
--a number from Borger's book; Babylonisch-assyrische Zeichenliste'
--the cuneiform sign in New Assyrian orthography
--the name of the sign or one of its values.

Top-20 sign list

signs sorted by decreasing frequency of occurence in the Codex Hamurabi

70 NA

579 A

353 shA (Sha)

354 shU

343 GAL

461 KI

61 mu MU

342 ma MA

214 BI


143 KÁM

142 I
Sumerian i means `five', the sign shows 5 strokes.

399 IM

318 Ú

449 shI

69 BAD

86 RI

232 IR

328 RA

381 UD, U4
logogram: U4 = UD = ummu `day'
logogram: UTU = shamash the sungod, written with the determinative for deities as: logogram: BABBAR = peSu `white' examples in New Assyrian orthography: It developed (before rotation over 90 degrees) from a pictogram and showing sunset, hence the meaning `day', `white', `radiant'.

94 DIM

231 NI

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John Heise
Last change: Nov 14 1996

lú.shab.tur shumallû `pupil'