Barry B. Powell: Writing: Theory and History of the Technology of Civilization (2009)

11 November 2014, dusan

“In this book the author explores writing not tied to speech, and traces the origins of writing tied to speech from ancient Sumer through the Greek alphabet and beyond. The book examines the earliest evidence for writing in Mesopotamia in the fourth millennium B.C., the relations of these systems to Ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Mesoamerican writing, the origins of purely phonographic systems, and the mystery of alphabetic writing. With examples from contemporary and historical writing systems, and many illustrations, it shows how the structures of writing served and do serve social needs and in turn create deep patterns of social behavior.”

Publisher Wiley-Blackwell, 2009
ISBN 1405162562, 9781405162562
276 pages

Review (L. R. Siddall, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2010)



Johannes Friedrich: Extinct Languages (1954/1957)

28 October 2013, dusan

This is the story of the art of deciphering forgotten languages and scripts. In this engaging and readable book author Friedrich, one of the foremost experts in both linguistics and archaeology, first describes the languages and scripts of the Ancient Orient, then proceeds on an intellectual journey that will take the reader through Egyptian Hieroglyphics, the cuneiform writing of Mesopotamia, the interpretation of Sumerian records, the scripts of the hittites and finally the languages of Ancient Italy.

First published as Entzifferung Verschollener Schriften und Sprachen, Springer, 1954
Translated by Frank Gaynor
Publisher Philosophical Library, New York, 1957
182 pages

Review (Herbert H. Paper, Language, 1955)

PDF (no OCR)