The Proto-Elamite is an ancient script that was used at the end of the 4th millennium BC in the Iranian Plateau, modern-day Iran. Approximately 1,700 clay tablets were unearthed during the French excavations in Susa in the early 20th century. The Proto-Elamite shares some important values with the Proto-Cuneiform script, another script used in Mesopotamia, like the numerical system.

Until today, we know and identified 1636 signs on these tablets used to record numerical notation and ideographic signs in both individual and compound signs. The numerical signs are named by the letter N, preceded by a number that indicates the value of the sign. And ideographic signs are named by the Letter M, followed by a serial number.

The Proto-Elamite is not fully deciphered yet, and the representative language is unclear.

In collaboration with the archaeologist François Desset, the aim of this Missing Script 2022 project at ANRT is:

— to discover the typographical potential of the Proto-Elamite script and understand the challenges we are facing to prepare a digital font for a complex ancient writing system;

— to study the decoding of the Proto-Elamite script.