The Disappearance of Writing Systems: Perspectives on Literacy and Communication

John Baines, John Bennet, Stephen Houston

ISBN 10: 1845539079 / ISBN 13: 9781845539078
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[ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ][ Ships Daily ] [ Underlining/Highlighting: NONE ] [ Writing: NONE ] [ Edition: first ] Publisher: Equinox Publishing Pub Date: 12/30/2010 Binding: Paperback Pages: 396 first edition. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: This volume gathers papers from the first conference ever to be held on the disappearance of writing systems, in Oxford in March 2004. While the invention and decipherment of writing systems have long been focuses of research, their eclipse or replacement have been little studied. Because writing is so important in many cultures and civilizations, its disappearance - followed by a period without it or by replacement with a different writing system - is of almost equal significance to invention as a mark of radical change. Probably more writing systems have disappeared than have survived in the last five thousand years. Case studies from the Old and New Worlds are presented, ranging over periods from the second millennium BC to the present. To address many types of transmission, the broadest possible definition of writing is used, notably including Mexican pictography and the Andean khipu system. One chapter discusses the larger proportion of known human societies which have not possessed complex material codes like writing, offering an alternative perspective on the long-term transmission of socially salient subjects. A concluding essay draws out common themes and offers an initial synthesis of results. The volume offers a new perspective on approaches to writing that will be significant for the understanding of writing systems and their social functions, literacy, memory, and high-cultural communication systems in general.

About the Author: John Baines is Professor of Egyptology at the University of Oxford. His publications include Visual and Written Culture in Ancient Egypt (2007) and High Culture and Experience in Ancient Egypt (in preparation for Equinox). John Bennet is Professor of Aegean Archaeology at the University of Sheffield. His research interests include the archaeology of complex societies, writing and administrative systems (especially Linear B), and diachronic landscape archaeology. Stephen Houston, a specialist in Maya civilization, is Dupee Family Professor of Social Science and Professor of Archaeology at Brown University. The founding co-editor of Ancient Mesoamerica, he is also co-editor of a dozen technical monographs on archaeological work in Guatemala, and author or editor of twelve books, the most recent of which is The Memory of Bones: Body, Being, and Experience among the Classic Maya (with David Stuart and Karl Taube, 2006).

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Book Description Equinox Publishing Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. This volume gathers papers from the first conference ever to be held on the disappearance of writing systems, in Oxford in March 2004. While the invention and decipherment of writing systems have long been focuses of research, their eclipse or replacement have been little studied. Because writing is so important in many cultures and civilizations, its disappearance - followed by a period without it or by replacement by a different writing system - is of almost equal significance to invention as a mark of radical change. Probably more writing systems have disappeared than survived in the last five thousand years. Case studies from the Old and New Worlds are presented, ranging over periods from the first millennium BC to the present. In order to address many types of transmission, the broadest possible definition of writing is used, notably including Mexican pictography and the Andean khipu system. One chapter discusses the larger proportion of known human societies which have not possessed complex material codes like writing, offering an alternative perspective on the long-term transmission of socially salient subjects. There is a concluding essay that draws out common themes and offers an initial synthesis of results. The volume offers a new perspective on approaches to writing that will be significant for the understanding of writing systems and their social functions, literacy, memory, and high-cultural communication systems in general. Seller Inventory # BTE9781845539078

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