First Writing Script Invention as History and Process

ISBN-10: 0521728266
ISBN-13: 9780521728263
Edition: 2008
Authors: Stephen Houston
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Description: Although ancient writing offers our first glimpse of history, people and institutions, its origins remain mysterious. This book presents the most up-to-date analysis of the origins of ancient writing. Studying often neglected writing systems, such  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 3/24/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 436
Size: 7.00" wide x 10.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.936
Language: English

Although ancient writing offers our first glimpse of history, people and institutions, its origins remain mysterious. This book presents the most up-to-date analysis of the origins of ancient writing. Studying often neglected writing systems, such as those of Mesoamerica, leading scholars collectively discuss how these scripts came into existence and developed during their first centuries of use. Egypt, Mesopotamia, Elamite, Mesoamerica and the Maya, Shang and Runic are represented.

Orientation and Theory
Overture of the first writing
The possibility and actuality of writing
Writing systems: a case study in cultural evolution
Case Studies of Primary and Secondary Script Formation
Babylonian beginnings: the origin of the cuneiform writing system in comparative perspective Jerrold Cooper
The state of decipherment of Proto-Elamite
The earliest Egyptian writing: development, context, purpose
Anyang writing and the origin of the Chinese writing system
Writing on shell and bone in Shang China Frantoise BottTro
Reasons for runes
Writing in Early Mesopotamia
Epilogue
Beyond writing Elizabeth Hill Boone
Final thoughts on writing

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