Sunday 31 May 2020


I would like to talk about Sumerian writing: Cuneiform. Actually about their words for "write" and "tablet, document"...

Cuneiform emerged in Sumer in the late fourth millennium BC to convey the Sumerian language, "a language isolate which has no relationship with any other language"...It is one of the earliest known systems of writing...

Cuneiform writing began as a system of pictograms...

In the third millennium, the pictorial representations became simplified and more abstract, eventually turning into symbols...

The pictograms (later symbols) were were cut on clay tablets, using a blunt reed for a stylus. Basically, cuneiform writing was "making marks on clay using chiseling technique"...

Now, the word for writing in sumerian was "sar, šar" written using this symbol:

And the word for tablet, document was "dub" written using this symbol:

Unsurprisingly the word for a scribe was "dub-sar" (tablet, document-writer):

And scribes learned their trade in "e-dub-ba-a" house of documents writing 

Here is a very interesting thing. 

Sumerian document (dub) was clay tablet (dub) with patterns, symbols gouged, chiselled, written (sar, šar) into it...

In Serbian, the word for chiselling, gouging is "dub" and the word for "making patterns, symbols" is "šar"...

So Sumerian dub-šar (scribe) literally means "one who gouges, chisels patterns, symbols" in Serbian...

Eee what? 

How can such important words in Sumerian, language isolate, have roots in Serbian, totally unrelated IE language, which only appeared after Sumerian language died out?

Now this must be a complete coincidence, a fluke. But unfortunately this is just another example where we find Slavic words related to very important words found in Sumerian. 

Like words related to knowledge...You can read more about this in my post "Um"


Like words related to grain agriculture...You can read more about this in my posts "Breath" and "Sickle"

I don't have an explanation for this madness, but...Have a look at this: 

The Vinča symbols, sometimes known as the Vinča script are a set of symbols found on Neolithic artefacts from the Vinča culture (6th to 5th mill BC) from Central Europe with its centre in Serbia...

And these are the Tărtăria tablets, discovered in 1961 at a Vinča culture site in the village of Tărtăria, in Romania. Originally dated to c. 5300 BC. 

Looks familiar?

Here is the best bit. Apparently archaeologists are now proposing much later date, based on the signs!!! And are dating tablets to 2,750 BC-3,300 BC, when Sumerian proto-writing, otherwise known as dub-šar :), was developed...

Now to conclude. I actually believe that Sumerian is a language isolate. And is not related to IE languages, including Serbian. But It is annoying that we keep finding these isolated, important words in Sumerian with IE roots...Why? As I said I have no explanation of this madness...

But we can't just ignore all this...Right?

Sumerian dictionaries:

Sumerian cuneiform English dictionary ed. Peter & Tara Hogan
Sumerian Lexicon Version 3.0 by John A. Halloran
The Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary


  1. Just to add something here. Word "dub" is not quite means "chiselling" or "gouging" in Serbian. The root of these words is indeed word "dub" - "izDUBiti" or "DUBiti", but word "dub" particularly, in Serbian language means: "oak tree". And maybe the word "dub" is in root of word "izDUBiti" since its tree bark (or even tablets of its wood) was probably used as a writing tablet. And oak is tree in which bark you can "izDUBiti" (to chisell) a cross and in that way you made it Holy, which Serbs calls "Drvo Zapis" or in English: "INSCRIPTION Tree". And all this make that "dub" and "šar" story even more interesting. PS: That word "scribe" which came from Latin "scribare" has so much resemblance with Serbian "šrabati" (scribble, scratch)

    1. The verb is "dubiti" (chisel, gouge, make deeper) from root "dub" from which we also have "dubina" (dept). Izdubiti is the finished version of the same verb. Whether this has anything to do with the word "dub" meaning oak, I am not sure