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Sumerian 1


Admission requirements



Sumerian is one of the oldest written languages in the world. It is written in the cuneiform script, which the Sumerians invented around 3200 BC. More than 100,000 Sumerian texts have come down to us on clay tablets and stone artefacts, including thousands of historical inscriptions and literary texts. Most of these date to the period from about 3200 until 1700 BC, when Sumerian was the main written language of southern Mesopotamia. In this course we will cover the basic grammar of Sumerian and read a number of simple texts.

Course objectives

Students acquire:

  • knowledge of the grammar of Sumerian,

  • knowledge of the basic vocabulary of Sumerian,

  • skill in reading simple Sumerian texts and analyzing their grammar,

  • knowledge of the basic principles of the Sumerian script and orthography.

Time table


Mode of instruction

  • Seminar with mandatory attendance.

Course load

In total 140 hours, consisting of:

  • 26 hours attending the seminars

  • 52 hours preparing the seminars

  • 20 hours reading texts independently

  • 42 hours preparing for the exam

Assessment method

  • an assignment of a few texts to be read independently (30% of the final grade)

  • a written exam on the subject matter of the seminar (70% of the final grade)

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average. If the final grade is below 6.0, the written exam (70%) can be repeated.

Reading list

  • To be announced at the beginning of the course




Dr. A.H. Jagersma


Bij aanwezigheid van buitenlandse studenten kan de cursus in het Engels gegeven worden.