Unicode fonts for Oracc

This page provides access to a variety of Unicode fonts for transliteration and normalisation, as well as for cuneiform script.

Unicode Transliteration Fonts

Fonts are only referenced here if they are both free and include the full set of Unicode characters needed for Assyriological transliterations as listed on the Unicode for Cuneiform Transliteration page. All Oracc fonts are released under the terms of the SIL Open Font License [http://scripts.sil.org/OFL/].

If you need additional characters please let the Oracc steering committee know.

For daily work the best fonts to try are Ungkam Basic and DejaVu. Ungkam has two forms, the Basic and the Book Basic, with the Basic being better for on-screen use and the Book Basic being better for print. DejaVu is useful to have as well, because it has sans-serif and monospaced fonts.


Ungkam may be the first calque from Latin into Sumerian; the fonts are modified as permitted from Victor Gaultney's beautiful "Gentium" typefaces [http://scripts.sil.org/gentium_download/].

Ungkam Basic

This is a version of the Gentium Basic and Gentium Book Basic families in which all fonts have been extended to meet the requirements above.

Ungkam Original

This is a version of the original, full Gentium font extended to meet the requirements above and named Ungkam. Version 1.2 is now available.


The extended version of Bitstream Vera, named Lynn, has been discontinued. Instead we strongly recommend the excellent ongoing work to extend Vera under the name DejaVu Fonts [http://dejavu-fonts.org/].


An extended version of the FreeFont project's 2009-01-04 release. Minimally tested.


An experimental font based on Ralph Levien's Inconsolata [http://www.levien.com/type/myfonts/inconsolata.html], available in monospaced version only and intended for limited on-screen use. The font includes some superscript characters in the Private Use Area to support aligning text matrices on-screen even when they include determinatives. This font is distributed only in TrueType format.

Cuneiform Fonts


A font based on original MetaFont/Type1 fonts by Karel Píška [http://www-hep2.fzu.cz/~piska/cuneiform.html] with Neo-Assyrian sign-forms.


A font based on Cuneiform Composite whose forms are closer to those found in Old Babylonian monumental and literary texts.

Cuneiform Composite

This is the official font of the book, soon to be a major movie. It was created and is maintained by Steve Tinney. Alphabetician and font designer Michael Everson of Evertype [http://www.evertype.com/] corrected many glyph problems.

This is a composite font which is based on Ur III forms but which ranges from Fara to Neo-Assyrian in its outliers. The reason for this is that it was designed to cover all of the cuneiform defined in Unicode version 5.0. For PDFs of the Unicode 5.0 code pages see the Unicode web site [http://www.unicode.org/charts/].

It is anticipated that subsequent development of CuneiformComposite will improve the relative sizes of signs and fix any remaining glyph errors.

CuneiformComposite is released under the terms of the SIL Open Font License [http://scripts.sil.org/OFL/].

After you install the font, you can test-drive it by viewing the following pages:

Unicode Cuneiform Table page 1
Unicode Cuneiform Table page 2
Unicode Cuneiform Table page 3
Unicode Cuneiform Table page 4
Unicode Cuneiform Table page 5

Other Non-Latin Fonts


Aegean is a free font created by George Douros which supports Old Persian, Ugaritic, and other scripts relevant to ancient Near Eastern research. You can download a locally cached copy of the distribution here, or go to its home page here [http://users.teilar.gr/~g1951d/].

Installation Instructions

First download the ZIP file containing the font from the [Download here] link (you may need to control-click to save it rather than open it in your browser window) and unzip the font.

System-specific font-installation procedures vary—additional installation hints for systems not covered below are welcome.

Mac OS X
Double click on the font to open it in Fontbook and click on Install; for 10.6 use the TrueType (.ttf) fonts, NOT the Mac downloads.
For Redhat EL 3 simply copy the font (as superuser) to /usr/share/fonts.
For Windows see these cookbook instructions [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314960/].

System-specific Hints

Use ClearType on Windows XP

If you are using Windows XP, you will benefit from enabling ClearType (which is enabled by default on Vista). Instructions for doing this are available from this MS page [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306527/].

Mac OS 10.6 and higher

As of 10.6/Snow Leopard the .dfont format is no longer used; be sure to use the normal TrueType (.ttf) files.

18 Dec 2019 osc at oracc dot org

Steve Tinney

Steve Tinney, 'Unicode fonts for Oracc', Oracc: The Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus, Oracc, 2019 [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/doc/help/visitingoracc/fonts/]

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