Dr Paul Leyland

(incidentally, I tried to type it in directly using UTF-8 characters but the web server threw a wobbly.)

The original to which I responded contained three characters, each of which were a sexadecimal digit. It read 2-30-2. For some reason I do not presently understand, two different representations of ‘2’ were used. Converting to decimal, 2*60*60 + 30 * 60 +2 = 9002, the number of images uploaded at the time of posting.

My response was in Sumerian because I barely know Akkadian and so didn’t try to push my luck.

The first character is niĝ which means “thing”. The second is “maḥ” which translates as “magnificent” or “great”. In Sumerian the adjective follows the noun. So, a colloquial translation would be “great work!” or perhaps just “great!”.

The final characters form my signature in syllabic characters. PA UL LE LA AN. The terminal ‘D’ is omitted because Sumerian doesn’t have consonantal clusters and a scribe (DUB SAR) would not have transliterated it. It is moderately conventional to add DUB SAR (i.e. “written by”) to a text one has written but I decided not to on this occasion.

Here endeth the first lesson.

Definitely time I started learning Akkadian properly because almost all Babylonian astronomical texts are in that language.