How Writing Came About / Edition 1

How Writing Came About / Edition 1

by Denise Schmandt-Besserat
     
 

ISBN-10: 0292777043

ISBN-13: 9780292777040

Pub. Date: 01/28/1997

Publisher: University of Texas Press

In 1992, the University of Texas Press published Before Writing, Volume I: From Counting to Cuneiform and Before Writing, Volume II: A Catalog of Near Eastern Tokens. In these two volumes, Denise Schmandt-Besserat set forth her groundbreaking theory that the cuneiform script invented in the Near East in the late fourth millennium B

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Overview

In 1992, the University of Texas Press published Before Writing, Volume I: From Counting to Cuneiform and Before Writing, Volume II: A Catalog of Near Eastern Tokens. In these two volumes, Denise Schmandt-Besserat set forth her groundbreaking theory that the cuneiform script invented in the Near East in the late fourth millennium B.C.—the world's oldest known system of writing—derived from an archaic counting device.

How Writing Came About draws material from both volumes to present Schmandt-Besserat's theory for a wide public and classroom audience. Based on the analysis and interpretation of a selection of 8,000 tokens or counters from 116 sites in Iran, Iraq, the Levant, and Turkey, it documents the immediate precursor of the cuneiform script.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780292777040
Publisher:
University of Texas Press
Publication date:
01/28/1997
Edition description:
ABR
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.44(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: Tokens, a New Theory
The Myths
The Pictographic Theory
Tokens
PART ONE: THE EVIDENCE
One: What Are Tokens?
Types and Subtypes
Evolution from Plain to Complex Materials
Manufacture
The Token Collection under Study
Two: Where Tokens Were Handled and Who Used Them
Types of Settlements
Distribution within Settlements
Structures
Token Clusters
Containers Holding Tokens
Associated Assemblages
Tokens as Funerary Offerings
Three: Strings of Tokens and Envelopes
Strings of Tokens
Envelopes
Four: Impressed Tablets
Number
Context
Chronology
Description
The Signs
Beyond the Impressed Tablets: Pictography
The Meaning of Signs and Their Corresponding Tokens
The Place of Impressed Tablets in the Evolution of Writing
PART TWO: THE INTERPRETATION
Five: The Evolution of Symbols in Prehistory
Symbols and Signs
Lower and Middle Paleolithic Symbols
Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic Symbols
Neolithic Symbols
A Turning Point in Communication and Data Storage
Six: Tokens: The Socioeconomic Implications
Reckoning Technology and Economy
Reckoning Technology and Social Organization
Seven: Counting and the Emergence of Writing
The Various Modes of Counting
The Sumerian Philological Evidence
The Near Eastern Archaeological Data
Eight. Conclusions: Tokens, Their Role in Prehistory and Their Contribution to Archaeology
Economy
Political Structure
Mathematics
Communication
PART THREE: THE ARTIFACTS
Cones
Spheres
Disks
Cylinders
Tetrahedrons
Ovoids
Quadrangles
Triangles
Biconoids
Paraboloids
Bent Coils
Ovals/Rhomboids
Vessels
Tools
Animals
Miscellaneous
Notes
Glossary
Index

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