Proto-Elamite Period

Other systems of writing emerged at the same time as the writing of the Sumerians, but were short-lived. Most notable is the writing system called Proto-Elamite, which surfaced during the Jemdat-Nasr period in the area called Susa in southwestern Iran.  Susa was the capital of the Elamite people. The Lewis Collection has a cylinder seal that has been identified as belonging to that period.

The Proto-Elamite period was roughly from 3200 to 2700 B.C.E. The Elamite writing system is largely undeciphered and might bear some relation to the precursor of Sumerian cuneiform (Proto-Cuneiform).


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The Rare Book Department is in the Parkway Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
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