All Things Assyrian
University of Chicago Completes Assyrian Dictionary

Chicago -- It started out with group of scholars and some index cards. The plan was to explore a long-dead language that would reveal an ancient world of chariots and concubines, royal decrees and rations - and omens that came from sheep livers. The year: 1921. The place: The University of Chicago. The project: Assembling an Assyrian dictionary based on words recorded on tablets unearthed in Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, written in a language that hadn't been uttered for more than 2,000 years. The scholars knew the project would take a long time. And it did - 90 years. The 21-volume dictionary is now complete.


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