Humanities and Arts Projects

Sumerian: Identifying Words and Meanings

Adam Anderson, Digital Humanities

Sumerian is the oldest written language in the world, written in cuneiform. Tens of thousands of documents have been digitized in transliteration (in Roman alphabet) in an online the database BDTNS(link is external). These documents deal with taxes, agriculture, trade, and other matters. A database of Sumerianwords is available in the electronic Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary (ePSD(link is external)). Connecting these two databases is surprisingly difficult – the current method of identifying words and linking them to entries in the dictionary (lemmatizing) is very time consuming.