Writing Babylonian Numbers in Unicode

From: Richard Wordingham <richard.wordingham_at_ntlworld.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2012 15:56:08 +0100

Is there any recommendation on how to write Babylonian numbers in
Unicode? I use the usual scheme of using the DISH series
for the units and the U series for the tens.

One problem with the Cuneiform Numbers and Punctuation block is that
there is no cross reference for the low numbers. However, with the use
of a chart giving signs in (modern) 'alphabetic', shape-based order I
quickly identified the equivalents of:
*CUNEIFORM NUMERIC SIGN ONE DISH => U+12079 CUNEIFORM SIGN DISH
*CUNEIFORM NUMERIC SIGN TWO DISH => U+1222B CUNEIFORM SIGN MIN
*CUNEIFORM NUMERIC SIGN ONE U => U+1230B CUNEIFORM SIGN U
*CUNEIFORM NUMERIC SIGN THREE U => U+1230D CUNEIFORM SIGN U U U

However, there does not appear to be anything for *CUNEIFORM NUMERIC
SIGN TWO U, for which one might expect *CUNEIFORM SIGN MAN (Borger 2003
no. 708).

So, how does one distinguish '20' from '610' (= 1060 + 10)? I
resorted to distinguishing them as <U+1230B,U+1230B> and <U+1230B,
U+200A HAIR SPACE, U+1230B>, though I only used HAIR SPACE because
U+2009 THIN SPACE was not available. However, should '20' perhaps be
encoded as <U+1230B,ZWJ,U+1230B>? Should there actually be a CUNEIFORM
NUMERIC SIGN TWO U?

Richard.
Received on Sat Apr 28 2012 - 09:58:10 CDT

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