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How Writing Came About
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How Writing Came About [Format Kindle]

Denise Schmandt-Besserat

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Présentation de l'éditeur

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.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.6 étoiles sur 5  5 commentaires
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An interesting scholarly book. 29 janvier 2007
Par Z. Martinez - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This book will take you through the ruins of an ancient city in Mesopotamia and then will explain the meaning of certain tablets and clay coins found there. The author is very clear in her explanations, there are plenty of pictures and graphics which make your understanding of the text easier. This book is for those who like reading scholarly material because it is very concise and precise on the subject but it could seem dry reading to those who prefer the material to be presented in a more entertaining way.

I found it very interesting, and it helped me understand the transition from letters to numbers. I loved it!
20 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An expert traces language 29 septembre 1998
Par - Publié sur
Schmandt-Besserat is not only an acknowledged leader in epigraphy, she is one of the only linguists to study the slowly evolving history of the assyro-babylonian literary culture. This book, and any other by this author, is strongly reccommended for any library or archeological department.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 some interesting tidbits but not realy written for the public 24 janvier 2014
Par Robert Shuler - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This was supposed to be a consolidated version of an earlier two-part academic work making the material accessible to the public. It simply fails. The author has no clue how to write a book and maintain interest past the introduction (which is pretty good, but you can read it in the preview). Even as a professor, well, I'd hate to try and stay awake in her class. And this subject normally fascinates me.
19 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 You Owe Me 20 novembre 2005
Par Charles de Plume - Publié sur
Holy Moley! By Internet standards, the first (and only, until mine) review of this book is of a seemingly archaeological date, seven years ago, that is. Well, I suppose this review won't make much difference when (if) it's read seven years from now! This book is, obviously, a work by a scholar, which is an entirely different category of "being smart." We don't call upon scholars to fix our plugged-up toilets or change the flat tire on our car or restore the electricity, but, if you know just enough history to be grateful to live in our consumer-friendly epoch, you'll be grateful that some out there have dedicated their lives to recording and analyzing the long process of human growth, and the growth of civilization. You can have your Back To Nature fantasies--I'll take the hot shower and electric coffee maker, thank you very much. This particular work, apparently, is a condensation of a two-volume scholarly work, one which, I am sure, that I will never read. But the current volume (the second half of which I read last night, while eating fancy crackers and drinking humble red wine--giving me a connection, I felt, to the agrarian Past of Sumer and Uruk, etc.) is about as good as it gets for laymen (me). For me, it's almost like a religious text, transcending race, language, skin color, nationalism; it's like a Time Machine that takes you back within the range of a subtle sniff of our "egalitarian" prehistoric ancestors; "egalitarian" meaning a small-population culture where you pretty much fed yourself and participated in the group without the framework of authority other than myth and ritual. A fun read for those who have exhausted the cultural potentialities of SIMPSONS reruns. I wholeheartedly agree with the author's thesis that counting preceded writing. In fact, it was my hunch--from my own reading and thinking--that this was so that prompted me to search for a book with this theory. It just makes sense. I highly doubt that any early resident of a city started the road to high civilization talking about "ennui" or "existentialism." They talked about, "Hey! I paid you this much last month. And you owe me this much tomorrow." Makes sense to me. Just the evidence-supported argument alone that breaking the counting-beyond-three barrier took thousands of years was worth the cover price to me. The single concept (and revelation) that in no way is the faculty of counting beyond three inate to brain function and hence, inate to our modern minds, is simply stunning to me, and adds a dose of gratitude to my daily life, a realization that makes it easier to laugh off the troubles of modern life. We owe so much to the hundreds of generations of men and women who have gone before us, most just living day to day. A good read, especially when enjoyed with fancy crackers and red wine...and about forty years' worth of reading, living and reflecting. So far as what the next review will address: I ain't holding my breath--and that is a very archaelogical attitude.
0 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Boring 28 juillet 2013
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Terribly boring book to read; history is supposed to be exciting, but this book is just an awful waste of time.
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