6th grade art assignment

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Assignment: Cuneiform and the Epic Story

Cuneiform writing began as a system of pictographs. Over time, the pictorial representations became simplified and more abstract. Cuneiforms were written on clay tablets, on which symbols were drawn with a blunt reed for a stylus. The impressions left by the stylus were wedge shaped, thus giving rise to the name cuneiform (“wedge shaped”).

[img alt=”Cuneiform pictograph” src=”http://static.k12.com/eli/bb/1042/3_59261/1_121555_1_59262/c0cbae720fb8733e63b3f830001f789f9edbe087/media/2fb13fac57b64af813ed56bfd3f17ce9a08307b0/mediaasset_1241122_1.jpg” title=”Cuneiform pictograph”>

The Mesopotamian civilizations of Babylon and of Assyria used the ancient Sumerian system of writing – cuneiform. Although cuneiform was used for many thousands of years, and many things have been discovered written in cuneiform, cuneiform is still not easy to read. That is because the shape of cuneiform letters, and the meanings of various cuneiform symbols, changed over time and varied by region. The early system of cuneiform script took many years to master therefore only a limited number of individuals were hired as scribes to be trained in its reading and writing.

When archaeologists find an ancient cuneiform script, they are always excited about it. There is much yet to be discovered about these ancient people as archaeologists continue to translate the ancient written language of Cuneiform

Go to the internet and research an epic story of your choice written in cuneiform

Tell the story of each tablet in your own words and then illustrate the story using clipart, images or your own drawings. Write the story using a word processing program and then add clipart or drawings to the text where relevant for each tablet summary. Then site your references for where you located the information on the story and where you located images to use.

Submit your completed assignment to the Cuneiform and the Epic Story Assignment link.

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