Cambridge Catalogue  
  • Your account
  • View basket
  • Help
Home > Catalogue > The First Writing
The First Writing

Details

  • 25 b/w illus. 3 maps
  • Page extent: 436 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.89 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 411.09
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: P211 .F62 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Writing--History

Library of Congress Record

Add to basket

Hardback

 (ISBN-13: 9780521838610 | ISBN-10: 0521838614)

  • Also available in Paperback
  • Published December 2004

Available, despatch within 3-4 weeks

US $131.00
Singapore price US $140.17 (inclusive of GST)

Ancient writing gives us our first glimpse of history, people and institutions, and yet its origins remain mysterious. This book offers a 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 subtlties about how these scripts came into existence and development during the first centuries of use. Egypt, Mesopotamia, Elamite, Mesoamerica and the Maya, Shang, and Runic are all represented.

• Most up-to-date, comprehensive look at why writing comes into existence, from case studies in many different parts of the world, with top experts in those areas

Contents

Part I. Orientation and Theory: 1. Overture of the first writing Stephen D. Houston; 2. The possibility and actuality of writing John S. Robertson; 3. Writing systems: a case study in cultural evolution Bruce G. Trigger; Part II. Case Studies of Primary and Secondary Script Formation: 4. Babylonian beginnings: the origin of the cuneiform writing system in comparative perspective Jerrold Cooper; 5. The state of decipherment of Proto-Elamite Robert Englund; 6. The earliest Egyptian writing: development, context, purpose John Baines; 7. Anyang writing and the origin of the Chinese writing system Robert Bagley; 8. Writing on shell and bone in Shang China Françoise Bottéro; 9. Reasons for runes Henrik Williams; 10. Writing in early Mesopotamia Stephen D. Houston; Part III. Epilogue: 11. Beyond writing Elizabeth Hill Boone; 12. Final thoughts on writing Stephen D. Houston.

Review

'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 Classical Review

Contributors

Stephen D. Houston, John S. Robertson, Bruce G. Trigger, Jerrold Cooper, Robert Englund, John Baines, Robert Bagley, Françoise Bottéro, Henrik Williams, Elizabeth Hill Boone

printer iconPrinter friendly version AddThis