Which Ancient Civilization Wrote in Cuneiform?

Cuneiform is one of the earliest writing systems in the world, and it was used by several ancient civilizations. However, some people may wonder which civilization was the first to use this form of writing. In this article, we will explore the question of which ancient civilization wrote in cuneiform.

The History of Cuneiform

Cuneiform writing originated in Mesopotamia, which is modern-day Iraq, around 3400 BCE. It was initially used to record economic transactions like grain and livestock. Over time, cuneiform became more complex and was used for various purposes such as recording laws, literature, and religious texts.

The Sumerians

The Sumerians were the first civilization to use cuneiform extensively. They lived in Mesopotamia between 4000 and 2000 BCE.

The Sumerians developed a complex system of writing that consisted of wedge-shaped marks made on clay tablets with a stylus. They also created a system of mathematics based on 60, which we still use today for measuring time and angles.

The Akkadians

The Akkadians lived in Mesopotamia between 2334 and 2154 BCE. They adopted cuneiform from the Sumerians but modified it to suit their language needs. The Akkadians were known for their military conquests and established an empire that included much of Mesopotamia.

The Babylonians

The Babylonians were another ancient civilization that used cuneiform extensively. They lived in Mesopotamia between 1792 and 539 BCE. The Babylonians built upon the work of the Akkadians and created one of the most famous collections of laws called Hammurabi’s Code.

The Assyrians

The Assyrians were a powerful empire that existed between 2500 and 609 BCE. They used cuneiform to record their military conquests and to create a vast library of knowledge. The Assyrians were known for their advanced military tactics and their brutal treatment of conquered peoples.


In conclusion, the Sumerians were the first civilization to use cuneiform extensively. However, other civilizations like the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians also used this form of writing for various purposes. Cuneiform played a crucial role in the development of civilization in Mesopotamia and paved the way for future writing systems.