The First Writing: Script Invention as History and Process
Stephen D. Houston
Cambridge University Press, Dec 9, 2004 - History - 417 pages
Ancient writing gives us our first glimpse of history, people and institutions, and yet its origins remain mysterious. The First Writing offers the most up-to-date treatment and examination of the origins of ancient writing. It studies often neglected writing systems, such as those of Mesoamerica. The leading scholars in the field collectively discuss new topics, and highlight new subtleties about 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 all represented.
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administrative Akkadian alphabet ancient Anyang Anyang writing appear archaic attested Aztec Babylonia Baines Boltz bone bronze inscriptions century characters China Chinese writing complex consonantaries consonants context cultural cuneiform Damerow day signs decipherment derived diagram Ding's display divination Dreyer dynasty earliest early Egypt Egyptian elements Englund evidence example full writing function Gelb glyphs graph graphemes graphic hieroglyphs Houston iconic ideographic INITM371 Scheil inscribed interpretation invention Justeson Kaminaljuyu khipu Lady Hao's later linguistic logograms logographic logophonic Maya script Mayan meaning Mesoamerica Mesopotamia millennium BC morphemes names Naqada Nissen notation objects Olmec origin period phonetic pictographic pictorial plastron proto-cuneiform proto-Elamite rebus record relationship repertory represent representation runes runic Scheil scholars scribes semantic sequence sexagesimal Shang spoken language spoken sign Stela structure suggests Sumerian Susa syllabary syllabic symbolic tablets tomb U-j trecena Uruk Uruk period vessels visual volume vowels words writing systems written sign Wu Ding Yinxu