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The Electronic Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary (ePSD)

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1991 - 2012

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ePSD is an online lexicon of Sumerian, the world's earliest written language which has no relatives, living or dead. The project is housed at the Penn Museum because of its outstanding collection of ancient scribal excercises in Sumerian.

Location Information

Sumer is located in the south of modern Iraq. Sumerian was used across the Ancient Near East from Iran to Turkey.

Time Period Studied

ePSD will eventually cover all of Sumerian from the “Archaic” period, around 3200 BCE to the turn of the era.

  • Steve Tinney, Clark Research Associate Professor of Assyriology, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania
Project Overview

ePSD has created an online lexicon of Sumerian as it occurs in cuneiform texts from ancient Iraq, dating from about 2700 to1600 BCE. The lexicon consists of basic definitions of words, and can be searched in English. Words are linked from the lexicon entries to all the places where they occur in a corpus of about 90,000 texts. ePSD is designed to grow to keep pace with new scholarship and new texts.

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