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    The First Writing: Script Invention as History and Process (Paperback) Edited by Stephen D. Houston

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    DescriptionAncient writing gives us our first glimpse of history, people and institutions, and yet its origins remain mysterious. This 2004 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.

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  • Full bibliographic data for The First Writing

    The First Writing
    Script Invention as History and Process
    Authors and contributors
    Edited by Stephen D. Houston
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 436
    Width: 177 mm
    Height: 253 mm
    Thickness: 22 mm
    Weight: 750 g
    ISBN 13: 9780521728263
    ISBN 10: 0521728266

    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: LAN
    BIC subject category V2: CFF, JHMC, JHM
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S1.5
    B&T General Subject: 750
    BIC subject category V2: CFL
    Ingram Subject Code: AH
    Libri: I-AH
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 25530
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1QDA
    BISAC V2.8: SOC003000
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/ANCIEN
    BIC subject category V2: HD
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    BISAC V2.8: HIS002000, LAN001000
    LC classification: CC
    BIC subject category V2: 1QDA
    DC22: 411.09
    LC subject heading:
    Thema V1.0: JHMC, NK, CFL
    Illustrations note
    25 b/w illus. 3 maps
    Imprint name
    Publication date
    30 April 2008
    Publication City/Country
    Author Information
    Stephen Houston is Professor of Anthropology at Brown University. A scholar of the ancient Maya in Mexico and Central America, he is the author of many books on the Maya, most recently The Memory of Bones: Body, Being and Experience among the Classic Maya.
    Review quote
    '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
    Table of 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 Francoise Bottero; 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.