Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts

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McGraw-Hill, 2002 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 352 pages
14 Reviews
""Andrew Robinson has now followed up his beautifully illustrated The Story of Writing "with a highly appropriate sequel--Lost Languages, "on undeciphered scripts. Many, it seems likely, will never be deciphered ..."--Sir Arthur C. Clarke, C.B.E.

A landmark study of the world's most important undeciphered writing systems and the current race to crack them

Maybe it's the tantalizing possibility of giving new voice to long-hushed peoples and civilizations. Perhaps it's the puzzle solver's delight in the mental challenges posed by breaking their codes. Whatever the reasons, the public has long been fascinated with undeciphered ancient scripts and the ongoing efforts to crack them. In "Lost Languages, Andrew Robinson reports from the front lines of the global efforts now under way to crack the Meroitic hieroglyphs of ancient Nubia, the Etruscan alphabet, the Indus Valley Sealstones, the Zapotec script--the earliest in the Americas--and five other major "lost languages." An enthralling story of genius, passion, and competition, "Lost Languages provides a revealing look at how decipherment is done. In what is truly an archaeological mystery book, the author examines each script in detail and reviews what is known about the people who created it, while weaving in the intriguing cast of characters currently competing for the glory of cracking these ancient codes.

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This is a comprehensive and easily approachable introduction to a fascinating discipline. Beautifully written, it is rich in detail and almost ludicrously unbiased. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in language, history, or unsolved mysteries.

Review: Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts

User Review  - Christopher Hall - Goodreads

Incredible book that shows you how many of the worlds 'lost languages' have been deciphered. It has lots of illustrations and examples of the writing being translated and includes a selection of languages still to be deciphered. Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
13
THREE GREAT DECIPHERMENTS
45
UNDECIPHERED SCRIPTS
89
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Andrew Robinson is the literary editor of the London Times Higher Education Supplement. His many books include The Story of Writing: Alphabets, Hieroglyphs and Pictograms, the award-winning Earthshock, and The Shape of the World: The Mapping and Discovery of the Earth, the book of a six-part television series shown all over the world.

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