The Decipherment of Linear Elamite Writing

Desset, François, Kambiz Tabibzadeh, Matthieu Kervran, Gian Pietro Basello & Gianni Marchesi. 2022. The Decipherment of Linear Elamite Writing. Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und vorderasiatische Archäologie 112 (1), 11-60.

Linear Elamite writing was used in southern Iran in the late 3rd/early 2nd millennium BCE (ca. 2300–1880 BCE). First discovered during the French excavations at Susa from 1903 onwards, it has so far resisted decipherment. The publication of eight inscribed silver beakers in 2018 provided the materials and the starting point for a new attempt; its results are presented in this paper. A full description and analysis of Linear Elamite of writing, employed for recording the Elamite language, is given here for the first time, together with a discussion of Elamite phonology and the biscriptualism that characterizes this language in its earliest documented phase.