Studies & Degrees in Cuneiform Studies

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Cuneiform Studies is a graduate degree that tenders a gratifying higher level course of learning in the languages, culture, and history of old Iraq and adjoining regions. It is the learning where a student acquires the knowledge of the method and material of writing thousands of years B.C. which was probably invented by the Sumerians (people that created the non-Semitic element in the civilization of Babylonia).

The Sumerian language was formerly co-ordinated with Akkadian (inventors of the pictorial hieroglyphics which was afterwards developed into the cuneiform system of writing) as a related dialect, but the later applied to Semitic Babylonian. Cuneiform Studies as it is being taught in different schools in the U.S. and other countries around the world, conveys the Akkadian language as the international communication for diplomatic correspondence in the regions of Iraq, Syria and Asia Minor.

The cuneiform of writing has more 600 signs that is a mixture of logograms (sign or character representing a word) and syllables (minute details of language or statement). The student learns that the earliest writers of cuneiform are the people of Mesopotamia who now live in a part of the present-day Iraq. The student earns in school degrees in Cuneiform Studies such as Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A./A.B.). The degrees are on the study of advance research of two of the oldest civilizations in the world that focus on the body of words and of methods of combination of words used by the nation, its people, and race (languages); and type of intellectual development, the civilization, customs, artistic achievements of the people, particularly at a certain point of development or history (culture).

The Master of Philosophy in Cuneiform Studies is taught for two years as graduate course. The Master of Philosophy and the Bachelor of Arts degrees are distinctive regions of study that focus on research. Both prepare the students for doctoral research in their selected sphere. The areas of specialization are: Cuneiform Studies (including Assyriology, Hittitology, and Sumerology); Classical Hebrew Language and Civilization; Egyptian Languages and Civilization; Islamic and Modern Middle Eastern Studies (including Arabic, Armenian, Modern Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, and Uzbek); and Near Eastern Judaica.

The student starts with academic works, lectures, seminars, and tutorials. Classes are given on Akkadian grammar and cuneiform handwriting, some particular Laws of Hammurabi, Descent of Ishtar to the Netherworld, Assyrian Royal Annals, and the Flood Story in the Epic of Gilgamesh. In the later part of the study, the student develops skills in unprepared translations, and rigorous study of Sumerian grammar. Lectures and seminars in expansive scope of subjects such as literary, culture, and history are given to students, after which thesis is granted on the final year of the course.

Schools where the student can choose his studies are: University of Michigan, Chicago University, Florida State University, University of Groningen, University of Pennsylvania, University of London, Cumhuriyet University School of Medicine, Turkey; Divinity School Vanderbilt University, Tenn.; University of California; Oxford University; Yale University; University of Michigan; University of Minnesota; University of New York; Leiden University; Cambridge University; University of Arizona; University of North Carolina; University of Connecticut; Yeshiva University; University of Queensland; Mosul University; University of Texas; and the University of Helsinki.

After studies of cuneiform, the student can pursue the career in schools, museums, libraries, and in private and government institutions as writers, and researchers, among others.