Early Dynastic Cuneiform

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Early Dynastic Cuneiform
(208 code points)
Assigned196 code points
Unused12 reserved code points
Unicode version history
8.0196 (+196)
Note: [1][2]

Early Dynastic Cuneiform is the name of a Unicode block of the Supplementary Multilingual Plane (SMP), at U+12480–U+1254F, introduced in version 8.0 (June 2015). It is a supplement to the earlier encoding of the cuneiform script in the two blocks U+12000–U+123FF "Cuneiform" and U+12400–U+1247F "Cuneiform Numbers and Punctuation".

"Early Dynastic Cuneiform" is designed to provide cuneiform signs used during one of the earliest phases of cuneiform writing, the Early Dynastic Period (c. 2900–2350 BC),[3] also known as archaic cuneiform, but discontinued in the Ur III period. The original Cuneiform block, introduced in version 5.0 (July 2006) is designed for the requirements of Ur III era cuneiform, with the younger (Old Assyrian and Neo-Assyrian) literary tradition to be considered font variants (analogous to the precedent of the approach followed in Han unification). Even for the Ur III era, many signs recognized in relevant dictionaries did not receive their own code point but are intended as being expressed as ligatures of two or more constituent signs, to be handled by the font, but for the purposes of representing archaic cuneiform, the inventory of the original block was recognized as insufficient and an additional 196 characters were added in version 8.0. The sign inventory is mostly based on the 1922 dictionary Liste der archaischen Keilschriftzeichen (LAK),[4] with a substantial number of characters (U+124D5 to U+12518) identified by their LAK number (or as composed of characters identified by their LAK number) rather than attempting to identify them by a reconstructed phonetic value. The LAK has 870 signs in total, most of which are already covered in the previous Unicode blocks in the form of their Ur III continuants. The Preliminary Proposal for the block submitted in 2012.[5]


Early Dynastic Cuneiform[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1248x 𒒀 𒒁 𒒂 𒒃 𒒄 𒒅 𒒆 𒒇 𒒈 𒒉 𒒊 𒒋 𒒌 𒒍 𒒎 𒒏
U+1249x 𒒐 𒒑 𒒒 𒒓 𒒔 𒒕 𒒖 𒒗 𒒘 𒒙 𒒚 𒒛 𒒜 𒒝 𒒞 𒒟
U+124Ax 𒒠 𒒡 𒒢 𒒣 𒒤 𒒥 𒒦 𒒧 𒒨 𒒩 𒒪 𒒫 𒒬 𒒭 𒒮 𒒯
U+124Bx 𒒰 𒒱 𒒲 𒒳 𒒴 𒒵 𒒶 𒒷 𒒸 𒒹 𒒺 𒒻 𒒼 𒒽 𒒾 𒒿
U+124Cx 𒓀 𒓁 𒓂 𒓃 𒓄 𒓅 𒓆 𒓇 𒓈 𒓉 𒓊 𒓋 𒓌 𒓍 𒓎 𒓏
U+124Dx 𒓐 𒓑 𒓒 𒓓 𒓔 𒓕 𒓖 𒓗 𒓘 𒓙 𒓚 𒓛 𒓜 𒓝 𒓞 𒓟
U+124Ex 𒓠 𒓡 𒓢 𒓣 𒓤 𒓥 𒓦 𒓧 𒓨 𒓩 𒓪 𒓫 𒓬 𒓭 𒓮 𒓯
U+124Fx 𒓰 𒓱 𒓲 𒓳 𒓴 𒓵 𒓶 𒓷 𒓸 𒓹 𒓺 𒓻 𒓼 𒓽 𒓾 𒓿
U+1250x 𒔀 𒔁 𒔂 𒔃 𒔄 𒔅 𒔆 𒔇 𒔈 𒔉 𒔊 𒔋 𒔌 𒔍 𒔎 𒔏
U+1251x 𒔐 𒔑 𒔒 𒔓 𒔔 𒔕 𒔖 𒔗 𒔘 𒔙 𒔚 𒔛 𒔜 𒔝 𒔞 𒔟
U+1252x 𒔠 𒔡 𒔢 𒔣 𒔤 𒔥 𒔦 𒔧 𒔨 𒔩 𒔪 𒔫 𒔬 𒔭 𒔮 𒔯
U+1253x 𒔰 𒔱 𒔲 𒔳 𒔴 𒔵 𒔶 𒔷 𒔸 𒔹 𒔺 𒔻 𒔼 𒔽 𒔾 𒔿
U+1254x 𒕀 𒕁 𒕂 𒕃
1.^ As of Unicode version 11.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points


The following Unicode-related documents record the purpose and process of defining specific characters in the Early Dynastic Cuneiform block:

Version Final code points[a] Count L2 ID WG2 ID Document
8.0 U+12480..12543 196 L2/12-024 N4179 Everson, Michael (2012-01-27), Preliminary proposal for encoding Early Dynastic Cuneiform
L2/12-208 N4278 Everson, Michael (2012-06-13), Proposal for Early Dynastic Cuneiform
L2/12-389 Anderson, Deborah (2012-11-08), Duplicate EARLY DYNASTIC CUNEIFORM character: U+124D2 CUNEIFORM SIGN KA TIMES U
  1. ^ Proposed code points and characters names may differ from final code points and names


  1. ^ "Unicode character database". The Unicode Standard. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
  2. ^ "Enumerated Versions of The Unicode Standard". The Unicode Standard. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
  3. ^ Everson, Michael; Crisostomo, C. Jay; Tinney, Steve (2012-06-13). "N4278: Proposal for Early Dynastic Cuneiform" (PDF). Working Group Document, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2.
  4. ^ Deimel, P. Anton (1922). "Liste der archaischen Keilschriftzeichen von Fara" (PDF). Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft.
  5. ^ Everson and Crisostomo (2012): "The proposed glyphs have been compiled primarily from the modern Assyriological sign list of the Early Dynastic period, Liste der archaischen Keilschriftzeichen aus Fara (henceforth LAK), in conjunction with the Oracc Global Sign List (www.oracc.org/ogsl). Every sign in LAK was carefully considered and collated by available photographs (provided by the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative www.cdli.ucla.edu) and hand copies. If the sign was determined to have been incorporated in the original Sumero-Akkadian Unicode proposal, N2786, it was not included in this proposal. Also not included are glyphs given in LAK which do not derive from the Early Dynastic period, but rather only from later periods such as Ur III or Old Babylonian. Moreover, numerals have been omitted due to the complexity of numeral signs from this period. [...] Additionally, glyphs discovered in two publications since LAK, Robert D. Biggs Oriental Institute Publications vol. 99 and Miguel Civil Cornell University Studies in Assyriology and Sumerology vol. 12, have been incorporated."