To a mathematician the cuneiform script looks intriguing, and I have read texts in several ancient languages that use it: Akkadian (inc. ancient Assyrian and Babylonian), Hittite, Sumerian, and Hurrian.

This led me to teach university courses on ancient Mesopotamian literature in translation, including the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the world’s great stories from ancient times.

Some ancient scripts remain a puzzle, and my article in History Today describes new efforts at the Ashmolean in Oxford to decode Proto-Elamite, the world’s oldest undeciphered language.

Mathematics written in cuneiform was amazingly advanced for its time, and a joint article with Mark Geller (UCL and the Freie Universtät Berlin) titled Friberg’s Remarkable Collection of Babylonian Mathematical Texts, appears in the Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes, Vol. 104, pp 233–240.