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Grant number: PW-51319-13

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University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA 94704-5940)
Niek C. Veldhuis (Project Director: July 2012 to present)

Reading the Signs: Digital Editions of Ancient Cuneiform Sign Lists

Digitization and enhanced access to sign lists compiled by Mesopotamian scribes and scholars, which document the cuneiform writing system. Editions with translations of about 1,500 texts dating from 2,500 BC to AD 100 would be made freely accessible online with links to images of the cuneiform tablets, indexes, bibliographic data, and glossaries.

"Reading the Signs" will provide comprehensive digital access to an important corpus of ancient cuneiform sign lists (dating between 2,500 BCE and 100 CE), yielding essential evidence for the correct reading of cuneiform signs and for the understanding of intellectual culture and its development in Ancient Mesopotamia. Sign lists are clay tablets (often school texts) which document for each sign that was in use in the cuneiform writing system the proper reading (pronunciation) as well as the meaning of the words that could be represented by that sign. Editions with translations of this corpus of about 1,500 texts will be made freely accessible under the Creative Commons Share-Alike license 3.0 through the NEH-funded Digital Corpus of Cuneiform Lexical Texts, itself a partner in the open-source open-access ORACC (Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus) consortium. The editions will be provided with links to images of the cuneiform tablets, indexes, bibliographical data and glossaries.

Project fields:
Ancient Languages

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$194,152 (approved)
$187,956 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2013 – 6/30/2017