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The first writing : script invention as history and process

Author: Stephen D Houston
Publisher: Cambridge, UK ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2004.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
"The theme of this book is the first writing systems - early cuneiform, proto-Elamite, Egyptian (all prior to 3000 BC, by some centuries), Chinese (prior to 1000 BC), and Maya and its Mesoamerican precursors (beginning ca. 500 BC) ... [and it] also looks more briefly at what might be called 'secondary inventions', including late ones like Scandinavian runic"--Page [3].
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Stephen D Houston
ISBN: 0521838614 9780521838610
OCLC Number: 56442696
Description: xvii, 417 pages : illustrations, maps ; 26 cm
Contents: Overture to The first writing / Stephen D. Houston --
The possibilty and actuality of writing / John S. Robertson --
Writing systems: a case study in cultural evolution / Bruce G. Trigger --
Babylonian beginnings: the origin of the cuneiform writing system in comparative perspective / Jerrold S. Cooper --
The state of decipherment of proto-Elamite / Robert K. Englund --
The earliest Egyptian writing: development, context, purpose / John Baines --
Anyang writing and the origin of the Chinese writing system / Robert W. Bagley --
Writing on shell and bone in Shang China / Françoise Bottéro --
Reasons for runes / Henrik Williams --
Writing in early Mesoamerica / Stephen D. Houston --
Beyond writing / Elizabeth Hill Boone --
Final thoughts on first writing / Stephen D. Houston.
Responsibility: [edited by] Stephen D. Houston.


In this book, leading scholars in the field discuss and analyse the origins of ancient writing.  Read more...
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'Most of the specialist scholars included here are eminent in their fields, and the whole beautifully produced volume will be of interest to all those studying early civilizations.' Bryn Mawr Read more...

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