Cybernetica Mesopotamica
Linguistic Analysis of Akkadian

Editor: Giorgio Buccellati
Associate editor: John L. Hayes




OB letters
MA laws
and syntax

Ebla pers. names
OB royal letters

     The entire corpus of Akkadian texts is preserved on their original support, mostly clay tablets found in excavations. There is no manuscript tradition that survived to hand down to us, through a continuous thread, any portion of what the ancient scribes were writing. It is a broken tradition par excellence.
     The term "decypherment" describes the process by which the texts were understood when first discovered. In a sense, it is true that the decypherment phase ended when the rudiments of the writing system and of the language behind it could be understood through the regularity of its patterns. And yet, in another sense, it is true that decypherment will continue for as long as we grapple with evermore sophisticated approaches to the language and the texts in which it is embedded.
     This website offers this kind of a more complex "decypherment": it looks at Akkadian in terms of high level patternings with regard to writing and to language. For each, it provides first a definition of the categorization system that underlies the analysis, and then a body of textual data that have been analyzed accordingly.
     It is through the identification of these patterns that we can mend the brokenness of the tradition.

     For a hermeneutic approach that builds on the documentation of the data, see the parallel website Akkadian linguistics.