Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts

Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts

by Andrew Robinson
     
 

Undeciphered scripts have long tantalized the public, whether it’s the possibility of hearing the voices of ancient peoples or the puzzle solver’s taste for the challenges posed by breaking codes. Here, Andrew Robinson investigates the most famous examples, beginning with the stories of three great decipherments: Egyptian hieroglyphs, Maya glyphs

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Overview

Undeciphered scripts have long tantalized the public, whether it’s the possibility of hearing the voices of ancient peoples or the puzzle solver’s taste for the challenges posed by breaking codes. Here, Andrew Robinson investigates the most famous examples, beginning with the stories of three great decipherments: Egyptian hieroglyphs, Maya glyphs, and the Minoan Linear B clay tablets. He then covers the important scripts that have yet to be cracked, such as the Etruscan alphabet and Rongorongo from Easter Island.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500288160
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
04/06/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
929,048
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements8
Introduction: Writing Systems, Coded Civilizations and Undeciphered Scripts10
Part IThree Great Decipherments
IVoices of the Pharaohs: Egyptian Hieroglyphs (Egypt)50
IIThe Labyrinth of Minos: Linear B (Greece)74
IIIBishop de Landa's Inquisition: Mayan Glyphs (Central America)104
Part IIUndeciphered Scripts
IVVoices of the Black Pharaohs: The Meroitic Script (Sudan)140
VGreek but not Greek: The Etruscan Alphabet (Italy)156
VIA Mediterranean Mystery: Linear A (The Aegean)182
VIISecrets of the Ancient Ledgers: The Proto-Elamite Script (Iran)200
VIIIBirdmen of Rapanui: Rongorongo (Easter Island)218
IXThe New World Begins to Write: The Zapotec and Isthmian Scripts (Mexico)244
XAt the Sign of the Unicorn: The Indus Script (Pakistan/India)264
XISir Arthur's 'Chaunt of Victory': The Phaistos Disc (Crete)296
Conclusion
XIIThe Urge to Decipher316
Notes and References324
Further Reading334
Bibliography335
Illustration Credits341
Index344

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