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Cuneiform, system of writing developed in the ancient Middle East during the 4th millennium B.C. The characters were wedge-shaped strokes that represented words and syllables rather than letters, as in an alphabet. Cuneiform originated with the Sumerian people of the Tigris and Euphrates valley, but was later used to write other languages, including Babylonian and Assyrian.

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Cretinism to Davis, David