Cuneiform is probably the world's oldest writing system. It was invented in Ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) and later used also in other parts of Western Asia over more than 3000 years until the first centuries AD. During this long period cuneiform script served several different languages and cultures, but the core of the enormous corpus of cuneiform texts (> 1 million) were written in Ancient Mesopotamia in Sumerian (apparently unrelated to other known languages) and Akkadian (a Semitic language related to, for instance, Arabic and Hebrew).
The course in Assyriology serves as a general introduction to cuneiform studies and the Akkadian language. The student is introduced to the script and Akkadian grammar through initial exercises, but soon reads authentic texts. The linguistic content of the course is supplemented by presentations on Mesopotamian archaeology, history, and religion. Having completed this course students will have a general overview of the field of cuneiform studies and be able to read basic Akkadian texts in original version.