Kateri nešifriran pisni sistem ima največji korpus besedila?

Kateri nešifriran pisni sistem ima največji korpus besedila?



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Več deset starodavnih pisnih sistemov je še vedno nešifriranih. Moje vprašanje je: Kateri izmed njih ima največ znanih napisov (in bi tako lahko bil najbolj dostopen prihodnjemu dešifriranju, čeprav je tako ne del mojega vprašanja)?

Na primer, Phaistosov disk, katerega napis je v neznanem pisnem sistemu, ima skupaj le 241 simbolov in nobeni drugi primerki tega pisnega sistema niso znani.

Po drugi strani pa so bili v začetku 19. stoletja tako akadski klinastopisni kot egipčanski hieroglifi, za vsakega od katerih je bilo znanih na tisoče napisov, ki so vsebovali milijone žetonov, še vedno dešifrirani (seveda sta oba od takrat dešifrirana).


To je zelo zanimivo vprašanje, rezultat pa se ne razvije le, če nekdo dešifrira besedilo, ampak tudi ko najdejo nove napise.

Torej, čeprav je bila pred letom 1973 zunaj Krete najdena le ena tablica, bi rekel, da je odgovor na vaše vprašanje Linearni A: obstaja 1427 dokumentov Linearnega A s skupnimi znaki 7362-7396.

Linear A je verski zapis minojske civilizacije. Domneva se, da je izvor Linear B, najstarejše pisne oblike grške pisave, ki se je uporabljala do prihoda abecede. Glavna razlika z Linearnim B je v tem

  • Linearno A ni dešifrirano, linearno B pa.
  • Če se Linear A izgovarja podobno kot Linear B, potem verjetno ni grški in bi lahko bil dejansko jezik z drugačnim poreklom (po možnosti semitski).

Ta odgovor dajem glede na to, da je v nasprotju s prej navedenimi Maji Linear A popolnoma nešifriran, medtem ko je pisava Maya dejansko dešifrirana, čeprav številni napisi ostajajo skrivnost.

Seveda morate imeti v mislih, da lahko Linear A odgovori na vaše vprašanje le zato, ker je bilo veliko iskanj v starodavni Grčiji (enako velja na primer z Egiptom), medtem ko bi lahko obstajala kakšna neznana pisava ali ena, za katero je bilo le nekaj tablic najdeno, za kar bi navsezadnje lahko našli veliko večji korpus. Zavedam se, da ste spraševali o največjem znano korpus besedila in hočem reči le, da bi lahko imeli večje možnosti za dešifriranje skrivnostnega skriptnega jezika tako, da bi v resnici iskali več njegovih napisov, kot če bi preučevali pisavo, ki ima največji korpus besedila.


Verjetno so majevski spisi in napisi največji del nedoločenih spisov z največ zgodovinskega pomena.

Prav tako ne smete domnevati, da so staroegipčanski hieroglifi dobro razumljeni. Mnogi "prevodi" hieroglifov, zlasti tisti, ki jih najdemo v kraljevskih grobnicah, so zelo domnevni in res ne moremo biti prepričani, kaj pravijo.


Kateri nešifriran pisni sistem ima največji korpus besedila? - Zgodovina

Kompleksnost je verjetno najpomembnejša značilnost starodavnih sistemov pisanja, s katerimi se študentje soočajo. Vprašanje zapletenosti ni pomembno le za razumevanje samega pisanja, ampak tudi za razumevanje, kako so sistemi zgodnjega pisanja vplivali na raven pismenosti v družbi, socialni položaj tistih, ki so znali pisati, in v novejšem času, dešifriranje teh pisnih sistemov.

Človek propada, njegovo truplo je prah,
Vsi njegovi sorodniki so umrli:
Toda knjiga ga spomni
Skozi usta recitatorja.
Boljša je knjiga kot dobro zgrajena hiša,
Potem nagrobne kapele na zahodu
Bolje kot trden dvorec,
Kot stela v templju! 10

Prilagodljivost starodavnih pisnih sistemov.

Lingua Franca za mednarodne odnose in trgovino

Medkulturne interakcije zahtevajo komunikacijo in so bile do neke mere vedno odvisne od jezika in pisanja. Na različnih točkah zgodovine so v teh interakcijah prevladovali posamezni jeziki, kar je povzročilo pojav fraze "lingua franca". 18 Pisanje je kot medij govornega jezika v zgodovini teh interakcij igralo podobno pomembno, čeprav morda manj slavno vlogo. Medtem ko je bila verbalna komunikacija očitno ključnega pomena za medkulturno interakcijo med ljudmi različnih razredov in ravni pismenosti, do nekaterih interakcij ne bi moglo priti samozavestno brez pomoči pisanja. Trgovci so morali zabeležiti posebne podrobnosti gospodarskih transakcij, ki so jih vladni uradniki potrebovali za snemanje različnih elementov pogodb, ki so jih menihi potrebovali za kopiranje in ohranjanje svetih besedil, in vsa ta dejanja so bila odvisna od pisanja.

Dešifriranje starodavnega pisanja

Številni pisni sistemi, ki so prevladovali v svetu starodavnega pisarja, so propadli že dolgo pred moderno dobo. Starodavni jeziki so umrli, zato so bili pisni sistemi, ki so bili razviti za njihovo prenos, opuščeni. Eden od najbolj zanimivih vidikov zgodbe o starodavnih pisnih sistemih je, kako so te izgubljene pisne sisteme obnovili. Ključ do razumevanja te zgodbe je prepoznavanje pomembnega izziva, ki ga ti pisni sistemi predstavljajo potencialnim dešifrirancem.

V mnogih primerih je bila razpoložljivost dvojezičnih ali trojezičnih besedil, ki dešifrantu posredujejo besedilo v več pisavah in jezikih, od katerih so nekateri znani in nekateri neznani, ključna za dešifriranje neznanih pisnih sistemov. Kamen Rosetta je morda najbolj znan primer. Vsebuje napis, ki hvali trinajstletnega faraona Ptolemeja V, isti napis pa je predstavljen v dveh različicah egipčanske (ena v hieroglifih, druga v demotični, poenostavljena oblika pisave) in v grščini. Zadnja vrstica grškega napisa in drugih napisov, ki so se izkazali, se prevaja takole: "Ta odlok bo vpisan na stelo iz trdega kamna s svetimi in domačimi ter grškimi znaki in postavljen v vsakem od prvih, drugih in templji tretjega reda poleg podobe večno živega kralja. " 36 Učenci imajo redko to srečo, toda tisti, ki so delali na kamnu Rosetta, so iz te vrstice vedeli, da kamen obljublja odkritje skrivnosti hieroglifov zaradi navedenega razmerja med besedili v napisu.

Zaključek

Pisanje je nedavni razvoj človeške zgodovine. Mnoga izrazito človeška vedenja, kot so pokop mrtvih, ustvarjanje umetnosti ter nadzor in uporaba ognja, ki so se razvili v paleolitiku, imajo korenine veliko globlje v zgodovini človeštva. Kmetijstvo in sedeči način življenja, medtem ko sta novejša razvoja, še vedno lahko nastaneta v neolitiku, ki izvira pred približno desetimi do dvanajst tisoč leti. Nasprotno pa so najstarejše oblike pisanja veliko novejše, saj so nastale šele pred približno pet tisoč leti v zahodni Aziji in Egiptu. Razvoj pisanja v drugih delih sveta se je zgodil še v zadnjem času. Tako je pisanje novo človeško vedenje, ki se je nedavno pojavilo v evolucijskem smislu.

Biografska opomba: David Burzillo poučuje svetovno zgodovino na šoli Rivers v Westonu v Massachusettsu.

Opombe

Avtor hvaležno priznava pripombe njegovih kolegov Cathy Favreau, Jennie Jacoby, Jack Jarzavek in Ben Leeming.

1 Učencem je treba na začetku pojasniti, da jezik in pisanje nista enaka in da sta se v različnih obdobjih človeške zgodovine razvijala. Hieroglifi in klinopisi, o katerih bomo razpravljali kasneje v članku, so pisni sistemi, ki se uporabljajo za različne jezike, vendar sami niso jeziki.

2 Čeprav ni mogoče reči, kdaj so ljudje začeli neverbalno komunikacijo, so človeške skupine očitno že zelo zgodaj v svoji zgodovini potrebovale to sposobnost, da so lovile in preživele v skupinskem okolju. Govor je novejši razvoj. Trenutni dokazi kažejo, da so bili ljudje pred približno petdeset tisoč leti fizično sposobni govoriti. Pisanje je bilo prvič uporabljeno pred približno pet tisoč leti.

3 Po poročilih ameriškega popisa prebivalstva je angleščina jezik, ki ga doma govori 81,5 odstotka od približno 53 milijonov otrok v šoli v državi. Za 12,8 odstotka preostalega je domači jezik španski jezik. Urad za popis prebivalstva Združenih držav, "Tabela 2. Uporaba jezika, zmožnost angleščine in jezikovna izoliranost za prebivalstvo od 5 do 17 let po državah: 2000," Povzetek tabel o rabi jezika in angleščini: 2000 , http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/phc-t20.html (dostop 25. novembra 2003).

4 Jezikoslovci opredeljujejo fonem kot najmanjšo enoto značilnega zvoka v jeziku. Opredeljujejo morfem kot najmanjšo smiselno enoto govora, sestavljeno iz enega ali več fonemov.

5 Čeprav so se znanstveniki zavedali težavnosti samozavestnega vrednotenja ravni pismenosti v starih družbah, niso nujno gledali na zapletenost starodavnih sistemov pisanja, sami po sebi, kot na omejevanje, v kolikšni meri bi se lahko opismenjevala družbo. Herman Vanstiphout pravi: "Vsekakor bo relativna zapletenost pisnega sistema imela malo ali nič opraviti s širjenjem pismenosti. Japonska ima doslej najvišjo stopnjo pismenosti v primerjavi z nekaterimi drugimi industrijskimi velikani, ki dokazuje, da je pismenost veliko bolj odvisna od političnih in družbenih prednostnih nalog naroda kot od zapletenosti pisave "(" Spomin in pismenost v starodavni zahodni Aziji ", v Civilizacije antičnega Bližnjega vzhoda, letn. 4, ur. Jack M. Sasson [New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1995], 2188-89). Za razpravo o pisarskem usposabljanju glej tretje poglavje C. B. F. Walkerja, Branje preteklosti: Klinopis (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989) prvo poglavje Samuela Noaha Kramerja, Zgodovina se začne v Sumerju (Garden City: Anchor Doubleday, 1959) peto poglavje A. Lea Oppenheima, Starodavna Mezopotamija: Portret mrtve civilizacije (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977) in peto poglavje H. W. F. Saggs, Civilizacija pred Grčijo in Rimom (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989).

6 Saggs pripoveduje zgodbo kralja Ura III Shulgija, ki je svojim pisarjem naročil, naj pevcem preberejo njegove pesmi, da jih bodo lahko izvajali (Civilizacija pred Grčijo in Rimom, 104-105). J. Nicholas Postgate zaključuje, da je "pred uvedbo abecede" pismenost zagotovo dosegla svoj vrhunec v starobabilonskih časih ... tako po raznolikosti vlog, ki jih je igrala, kot tudi po številu ljudi, ki so znali brati in pisati "(Zgodnja Mezopotamija: družba in gospodarstvo na začetku zgodovine [London: Routledge, 1994], 69). Barry J. Kemp je zapisal, da je bilo starodavno kraljestvo Egipt razdeljeno na tri razrede: "pismeni ljudje, ki imajo oblast, ki izhaja iz kralja, tisti, ki so jim podrejeni (vratarji, vojaki, kamnolomi itd.), In nepismeno kmečko prebivalstvo" ("staro Kraljestvo, Srednje kraljestvo in drugo vmesno obdobje c. 2686-1552 pr. N. Št., "In Stari Egipt: družbena zgodovina, ed. Bruce G. Trigger, Barry J. Kemp, David O'Connor in Alan Lloyd [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996], 81).

7 Treba je opozoriti, da so te dokumente napisali sami pismouki, zato je v njih očitno pomembna pristranskost.

8 Miriam Lichtheim, Staroegipčanska književnost, letn. 2 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976), 170.

9 Glej Kramer, Zgodovina se začne v Sumerju, 1-16, za gradivo o sumerskem pogledu na izobrazbo in pisarje.

10 Lichtheim, Staroegipčanska književnost, 177. Dodatne primarne vire o egiptovskih pisarjih najdete pri James B. Pritchard, ur., Bližnjevzhodna besedila v zvezi s Staro zavezo (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969), 431-34.

11 Način, kako razumemo izvor pisanja, je podoben temu, kako obravnavamo podobna vprašanja glede razvoja kmetijstva. Razpoložljivi dokazi kažejo, da je bilo kmetijstvo neodvisno izumljeno v najmanj sedmih svetovnih regijah in se je razširilo iz njih. V vsaki od teh sedmih regij je bila udomačena posebna kombinacija živali in pridelkov. Glej Bruce Smith, Pojav kmetijstva (New York: Scientific American Library, 1995). Glej tudi C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky in Jeremy Sabloff, Starodavne civilizacije: Bližnji vzhod in Mezoamerica (Prospect Heights, Ill .: Waveland Press, 1995), 60. V zvezi s pisanjem so asiriologi ponavadi podpirali idejo o mezopotamskem vplivu na razvoj egiptovske pisave, glede na dokaze o drugih medkulturnih vplivih, ki so bili pred tem razvoj pisanja v Egiptu. Glej Henri Frankfort, Rojstvo civilizacije na Bližnjem vzhodu (New York: Doubleday Anchor, 1956), 129-32 Saggs, Civilizacija pred Grčijo in Rimom, 72 in Postgate, Zgodnja Mezopotamija, 56. Lamberg-Karlovsky in Sabloff zavzemata stališče, da se je "pisanje morda razvilo neodvisno na obeh področjih zaradi konvergence vzporednega razvoja" (Starodavne civilizacije, 134). Kratek povzetek razprave o odnosu hieroglifov in klinasto pisave najdemo v Triggerju, Kempu, O'Connorju in Lloydu, Starodavni Egipt, 37-38.

12 Zgodovinarji so na splošno menili, da sta bila sumerska in egipčanska razvita približno v istem času, pri čemer ima Sumer običajno rahlo prednost. Nedavna odkritja v Egiptu so povzročila, da so mnogi to ponovno pregledali, nekateri egiptologi pa so predlagali, da so hieroglifi pred klinastim pismom. V zadnjih letih se je v tisku veliko pojavilo na to temo. Glej John Noble Wilford, "Carving of King bi lahko prepisal zgodovino", New York Times, 16. aprila 2002 Elizabeth J. Himelfarb, "Prva abeceda najdena v Egiptu", Arheologija, Januar/februar 2000, 21 Larkin Mitchell, "Najzgodnejši egipčanski glifi", Arheologija, Marec/april 1999, 28-29 in Vijay Joshi, "Starodavne plošče kažejo, da so Egipčani morda prvi pisali," Bostonski globus, 18. decembra 1998.

13 Družina semitskih jezikov ima dve glavni veji, vzhodno sem in zahodno semito. Akadian velja za del vzhodno -semitske veje družine, ki vključuje tudi akadska narečja babilonskega in asirskega. Zahodno semitska veja vključuje veliko več jezikov, vključno s hebrejščino in arabščino, s katerimi se nekateri študenti morda poznajo.

14 John King Fairbank, Kitajska: nova zgodovina (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1994), 42-43.

15 Joshua Fogel piše o korejščini: "Že dejstvo, da Korejci, kulturno napredna država na številne načine, niso razvili lastne abecede (hangul) vse do petnajstega stoletja, kar je več kot tisočletje po sprejetju kitajščine, govori o tem častno mesto kitajskega pisanega jezika v njihovem življenju "(" Sinic World ", v Azija v zahodni in svetovni zgodovini, ur. Ainslee Embree in Carol Gluck [Armonk, N. Y .: M. E. Sharpe, 1997], 684). Fogel razpravlja tudi o pomenu verskih, kulturnih in političnih idej in institucij, ki so prišle v vsako od teh držav zaradi sprejetja kitajskih znakov, povezav, ki so pomagale združiti vzhodno Azijo.

16 Edwin Reischauer je takole opisal razmere, preden so se Japonci lotili pisave: "Velik kulturni napredek na Japonskem v teh stoletjih je še toliko bolj izjemen, ker je bil dosežen s pomočjo povsem drugačne vrste jezika in izredno težko pisni sistem "(Japonci [Cambridge, Mass .: Belknap Press, 1977], 47).

17 Poleg tukaj navedenih primerov so na voljo še drugi, morda bolj znani primeri, vključno z izposojo feniške abecede pri Grkih. Poleg tega so si latinsko abecedo sposodili od Grkov, morda preko Etruščanov.

18 Prva uporaba fraze "lingua franca", v skladu z Oxfordski stari angleški slovar, avtor John Dryden. Drugi navedeni primeri prihajajo iz obeh sredozemskih kontekstov.

19 Glede na nedavno objavo filma o filmu Mel Gibsona Kristusovo trpljenje, mnogi študenti morda vedo za obstoj aramejščine. Ta jezik je kot lingua franca zahodne Azije nadomestil akadijščino, kasneje pa jo je nadomestil arabščina.

20 Za kratek pregled besedil Amarne glej Barbara Ross, "Dopisovanje v glini", Svet Aramco, November/december 1999, 30-35.

21 Shlomo, Izre'el, "Amarna pisma iz Kanaana", v Sassonu, Civilizacije antičnega Bližnjega vzhoda., letn. 4, 2412.

22 V Pritchardu so reproducirana štiri pisma iz arhiva Mari in osemindvajset črk iz korespondence Amarna, Starodavna bližnjevzhodna besedila, povezana s Staro zavezo.

23 vrečke, Civilizacija pred Grčijo in Rimom, 182.

24 vrečk, Civilizacija pred Grčijo in Rimom, 184.

25 Ross, "Dopisovanje v glini", 31-32.

26 C. W. Ceram, Bogovi, grobovi in ​​učenjaki: Zgodba o arheologiji (New York: Bantam Books, 1972). Čeprav je bila prvotno napisana leta 1949, je bila ta knjiga ponovno izdana in je zelo dostopna dijakom. Ceram podrobno opisuje dešifriranje klinopisa in hieroglifov.

27 Za Linear B glej John Chadwick, Dešifriranje linearnega B (London: Cambridge University Press, 1990) in Andrew Robinson, Človek, ki je dešifriral linearno B: Zgodba o Michaelu Ventrisu (London: Thames in Hudson, 2002). Za Mayan glej Michael Coe, Kršitev kodeksa Maya (London: Thames in Hudson, 1999) in "Triumf duha: kako je Jurij Knorosov razbil majevsko hieroglifsko kodo iz oddaljenega Leningrada", Arheologija, September/oktober 1991, 33-44 in David Roberts, "Dešifriranje starih Majev",Atlantik, September 1991, 87-100.

28 Glej Andrew Robinson, Izgubljeni jeziki: zagonetka nešifriranih spisov sveta (New York: McGraw Hill, 2002). Robinson posveča poglavja sedanjemu razmišljanju o nešifriranih spisih meroitskega, linearnega A, etruščanskega, protoelamitskega in rongoronškega.

29 Samuel Noah Kramer, Sumerci: njihova zgodovina, kultura in značaj (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963), 19-26.

30 Glej Michael Coe, Maja (London: Thames in Hudson, 1999).

31 Peter Daniels, "Dešifriranje starodavnih pisav na Bližnjem vzhodu", v Sassonu, Civilizacije antičnega Bližnjega vzhoda, letn. 1, 82.

32 Daniels poroča o asirski: "Razlaga sumerskega se je izkazala za delo mnogih desetletij, med katerimi je prišlo do resne polemike o tem, ali gre za dejanski jezik ali kodo, ki so jo asirski duhovniki prikrili ali ne, da bi prikrili sveto skrivnosti "(" Dešifriranje starodavnih bližnjevzhodnih pisav, "86). Coe navaja podobna stališča med majani sredi dvajsetega stoletja, kot sta Richard Long in Paul Schellhas, ki sta dvomila, da majevski glifi predstavljajo jezik (Kršitev kodeksa Maya, 137-44).

33 Maurice Pope, Zgodba o arheološkem dešifriranju: od egipčanskih hieorglifov do linearne B (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977), 186.

34 Glej papež, Zgodba o arheološkem dešifriranju, in Coe, Kršitev kodeksa Maya.

35 Glej Coe, Kršitev kodeksa Maya, 43-44, za lep povzetek tega in drugih splošnih vprašanj, povezanih z dešifriranjem. Glej tudi Robinsonov uvod v Izgubljeni jeziki, esp. 40-43 in Chadwick, Dešifriranje linearnega B, 41-43.

36 Stephen Quirke in Carol Andrews, Rosetta Stone: Faksimilna risba z uvodom in prevodi (London: British Museum Publications, 1988).

37 Rawlinsonov prepis je vključeval precejšnje tveganje, saj je bil napis na strani skalne pečine približno 340 čevljev nad tlemi. George Cameron z univerze v Michiganu je leta 1948. preučeval napis in iz njega izdelal kalupe iz lateksa. Njegovo delo in številne fotografije od blizu iz njegove študije najdete v Georgeu Cameronu, "Darius Carved History on Ageless Rock", National Geographic, December 1950, 825-44.

38 papež, Zgodba o arheološkem dešifriranju, 162. Dešifriranje ugaritskega in linearnega B ni sledilo temu vzorcu.

39 Identifikacija posameznih besed v neznanem pisnem sistemu je lahko pomemben korak pri prevajanju jezika, ki stoji za njim, vendar ne zagotavlja vedno, da bo sledilo dešifriranje. Etruščan je dober primer tega dejstva. Ker je etuščanska abeceda povezana z grško abecedo, je mogoče brati etruščanske besede, vključno z mnogimi osebnimi imeni. Toda zaradi vrst razpoložljivih besedil, večinoma pogrebnih, in dolžine razpoložljivih besedil se znanstveniki niso mogli premakniti s te osnovne ravni razumevanja besed k razumevanju jezika kot celote.

40 papež, Zgodba o arheološkem dešifriranju, 189.

41 Papež o tej metodi piše: "Toda tisto, kar je dešifriranje linearne B naredilo edinstveno in je pritegnilo domišljijo sveta, je bila abstraktna fonetična mreža, ki jo je sprožil Kober, močno pa jo je razširil Ventris. Njen učinek je bil natančnejša opredelitev uporabe zlogovnih znakov. kot prej. Namesto da bi rekel 'znak x pomeni zlog "postalo je mogoče reči" znak x pomeni zlog, ki deli en element s zlogom, ki ga predstavlja znak y. ' Tako so bila pravila pisanja natančnejša in to je nadomestilo majhnost in nenatančnost ciljnega območja "(Zgodba o arheološkem dešifriranju, 188).

42 Za primere glejte predlagana spletna mesta na koncu članka.

43 Vsaj v enem primeru, v primeru Mikencev, je obstoječi korpus dokumentov v celoti administrativno osredotočen. Ker bo večina študentov verjetno povezovala Homerja in njegovega Iliada in Odiseja z Mikenci bi bilo verjetno vredno spomniti študente, da Linear B ni bil Homerjev Grk in da Homerjeva dela niso primeri mikenske literature.

44 Paul Halsall na primer vzdržuje veliko število odličnih spletnih mest z naložljivimi dokumenti iz primarnih virov, ki se nanašajo na številna zgodovinska obdobja in teme. Naslov njegovega vira knjige Ancient History Source je http://www.fordham.edu/halsallcient old/asbook.html.

45 Glej Kramer, Zgodovina se začne v Sumerju, 1-16.

46 Papež jasno pove, da je bil Thomas Young zelo ljubosumen na Champolliona, oba pa sta bila kritična do njegove metode in sta bila zaslužna za njegove ideje (Zgodba o arheološkem dešifriranju, 66-68, 84). To je ljubosumno zagotovo deloma posledica dejstva, da je Champollion dobil zasluge za preboj, ki ga je zahteval Young, zato je imel to osebni vidik. Ne bi me presenetilo po napoleonskih vojnah in anglo-francoski konkurenci v Aziji, če bi nekaj ljubosumja, ki ga je čutil Young, posledica dejstva, da je bil za dešifriranje odgovoren Francoz in ne Anglež.

Predlagano branje

Ceram, C.W. Bogovi, grobovi in ​​učenjaki: Zgodba o arheologiji. New York: Bantam Books, 1972. Odseki o dešifriranju hieroglifov in klinopisa so za dijake zelo dostopni.

Chadwick, John. Dešifriranje linearnega B. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Chadwick, ki je sodeloval z Michaelom Ventrisom, je ta kratek opis napisal za splošnega bralca.

Chadwick, John. Branje preteklosti: Linearni B in sorodni skripti. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997. Vsak zvezek v seriji Branje preteklosti vsebuje približno šestdeset-stransko raziskavo teme z odličnimi opisi in ilustracijami. Za druge zvezke iz te serije glejte Davies in Walker spodaj.

Coe, Michael. Kršitev kodeksa Maya. London: Thames in Hudson, 1999. Odlična zgodovina dešifriranja pisave Majev.

Davies, W.V. Branje preteklosti: egipčanski hieroglifi. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.

Erman, Adolf ur. Stari Egipčani: vir njihovih zapisov. New York:

Harper Torchbooks, 1966. Vsebuje nekaj primarnih virov o izobraževanju v novem kraljestvu Egiptu.

Friedrich, Johannes. Izumrli jeziki. New York: Philosophical Library, 1957. Zelo berljiva obravnava dešifriranja in starodavnih pisav. Ta knjiga je bila v tisku, ko je avtor slišal za delo Ventrisa, zato je bil dodan dodatek k Linearju B.

Oppenheim, A. Leo. Starodavna Mezopotamija: Portret mrtve civilizacije. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977. Vsebuje dobre odseke o pisanju in pisarjih.

Papež, Maurice. Zgodba o dešifriranju: od egipčanskih hieroglifov do linearne B. New York: Sons Charlesa Scribnerja, 1975. Coe to imenuje "najboljša splošna knjiga o dešifriranju".

Postgate, J. Nicholas. Starodavna Mezopotamija: družba in gospodarstvo na začetku zgodovine. London: Routledge, 1995. Oddelek o razvoju pisanja v Mezopotamiji.

Robinson, Andrew. Izgubljeni jeziki: zagonetka nešifriranih spisov sveta. New York: McGraw Hill, 2002. Robinson je napisal veliko knjig o pisanju in jeziku. Leta 2002 je izdal tudi biografijo Michaela Ventrisa.

Saggs, H.W. F. Civilizacija pred Grčijo in Rimom. New Haven: Yale, 1989. Poglavja o pisanju in izobraževanju.

Sasson, Jack ed. Civilizacije antičnega Bližnjega vzhoda. Letniki 1-4. New York: sinovi Charlesa Scribnerja, 1995. Prvi zvezek vsebuje razdelek o dešifriranju Petra Danielsa. Zvezek 4 vsebuje razdelek o jeziku, pisanju in literaturi s prispevki Denise Schmandt-Bessarat, D.O. Edzard, John Huehnegard, Edward Wente in Laurie Pearce. V tem referenčnem delu je mogoče najti veliko dragocenih člankov.

Von Soden, Wolfram. Stari vzhod: Uvod v proučevanje antičnega Bližnjega vzhoda. Grand Rapids: William B. Erdmans, 1994. Poglavje o pisanju in pisnih sistemih.

Walker, CBF. Branje preteklosti: Klinopis. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989.


Oracle Bones in pisanje prihodnosti v dinastiji Shang

Kot je bilo že poročano v članku o starodavnem izvoru, so kosti preročišča vrsta artefakta, ki je najbolj znan po svoji povezanosti z dinastijo Shang v starodavni Kitajski (1600-1046 pr. N. Št.). Ker so bili ti predmeti uporabljeni za vedeževanje, so se kosti začele imenovati "kosti preročišča". Poleg tega, da nam posredujejo informacije o prepričanjih ljudi iz dinastije Shang, so kosti preročišča pomembne tudi zato, ker tvorijo najzgodnejše znano telo starodavne kitajske pisave.

Glavna živalska kost, ki je bila uporabljena za ustvarjanje kosti preročišča, je bila lopatica ali lopatica. Zdi se, da so volovi najprimernejša izbira živali, saj je arheološki zapis prinesel veliko količino kosti preročišč, ki so bile narejene iz lopatice te živali. Kljub temu so bile najdene tudi kosti preročišč, ki so bile narejene iz lopatic jelenov, ovac in prašičev. Kar zadeva drugi material, je bil uporabljen plastron (skoraj ravna spodnja stran želve). Ohišje (izbočena zgornja lupina želve) ni bilo primerno za izdelavo kosti preročišča, saj je bilo veliko težje pisati na njegovo ukrivljeno površino.

Napise iz kosti preročišča je prvič leta 1899 odkril akademik in starinar Wang Yirong v Pekingu, čeprav je skupina kmetov iz Anyanga odkrila artefakte daleč pred profesorjem. V 20. stoletju je bilo najdenih na tisoče kosti preročišč. Različne študije o orakovih kosteh so pokazale, kako se je kitajska pisava sčasoma razvijala in osvetlile vedeževalske prakse dinastije Shang.

Proces vedeževanja prihodnosti s pomočjo kosti preročišč bi se običajno začel z vprašanjem, ki ga postavi stranka. Ta vprašanja so vključevala različne teme, vključno z meteorološkimi, kmetijskimi in vojaškimi vprašanji. Proročevalec bi nato z ostrim orodjem zapisal vprašanje na kost / lupino, nato pa bi vanj izvrtal luknjo / luknje. Orakovo kost bi nato postavili pod močno toploto, dokler ne nastanejo razpoke. Nazadnje so popotniki razlagali te razpoke svojim strankam.


Viri podatkov in metode

Znaki, zabeleženi v tem delu, se nanašajo na več avtorjev (Mahadevan, 1977 Parpola, 1986, 1994 Wells, 1998), CISI (Joshi in Parpola, 1987 Parpola et al., 2010 Shah in Parpola, 1991) in nabor podatkov ICIT. Podatkovni niz, na katerega se osredotočamo, je bil kuriran in preverjen na dva načina. Prvič, ročno (z uporabo seznamov znakov drugih avtorjev in CISI), in drugič, z uporabo baze podatkov ICIT kot vira. Vsak znak na zadevnih pečatih je bil shranjen v bazi podatkov MongoDB. Znaki, na katere smo se osredotočili pri simetričnih/asimetričnih, so bili primarno polje, ki nam je omogočilo, da se osredotočimo na njihov odnos do drugih znakov v pečatu in podobnih pečatih. Za vsak pečat so bili shranjeni naslednji atributi: CISI id, številka znaka, lokacija, drugi znaki na pečatu, dolžina pečata in zastavica, ki označuje, ali gre za večvrstični pečat. Vsak pečat je shranjen kot dokument z omenjenimi lastnostmi. Za razliko od tradicionalnih zbirk podatkov, zbirka MongoDB omogoča več korelacij z znakom in omogoča tudi lažjo analizo. Vsaka od frekvenc, naštetih v tem delu, se zlahka prikaže s poizvedovanjem po naboru podatkov. Ta postavitev zbirke podatkov bi se lahko v prihodnosti razširila za nadaljnjo analizo pečatov s simboli živali.


Starodavne civilizacije in zgodnje pisanje

Pisanje se je neodvisno razvijalo v različnih regijah, kot so Bližnji vzhod, Kitajska, dolina Inda in Srednja Amerika. Pisni sistemi, ki so se pojavili v vsaki od teh regij, so različni in niso vplivali drug na drugega. Najzgodnejši pisani sistem je bil klinopis v Mezopotamiji, ki sega v 3.100 pr.

Zakaj je bilo pisanje izumljeno? Morda odgovor najdemo v prvih pisnih sporočilih. V večini krajev, kjer se je pisanje razvijalo neodvisno, so najstarejši dokumenti, ki so ostali, nalepke in seznami ali imena vladarjev. Na splošno so bili nekateri v družbah, ki so izdelovali te dokumente, veliko bogatejši od drugih, moč pa je bila skoncentrirana v rokah majhnih skupin. Zato se domneva, da je pisanje izumljeno, saj so morali člani teh skupin organizirati distribucijo blaga in ljudi, da bi ohranili nadzor nad obojim.

V mnogih družbah so pisavo izumili tudi za druge namene. Na primer, v starodavni Mezopotamiji so bile zapisane pogodbe in drugi komercialni dokumenti, pisma, zakoni, verski obredi in celo literarna dela. Po drugi strani pa je bilo pisanje v Srednji Ameriki dolgo časa omejeno na napise na spomenikih v zvezi z monarhijo. V teh družbah, kjer je bilo pisanje omejeno na majhno prevladujočo skupino, je bilo dejansko zelo malo ljudi, ki so znali brati in pisati.

Logografsko pisanje

Glede na to, kako delujejo, so pisni sistemi razvrščeni kot logografski, zlogovni ali abecedni. Včasih nekateri sistemi uporabljajo več kot enega od njih hkrati. Na primer, stari Egipčani so uporabljali vse tri sisteme hkrati. V logografskih pisnih sistemih vsak simbol predstavlja besedo. V mnogih od teh sistemov so osnovnim simbolom dodani slovnični določitelji, to so posebni simboli, ki označujejo pomenske ali slovnične spremembe, na primer sestavljene ali množinske oblike besed. Najbolj očitna težava tega pisnega sistema je ogromno število simbolov, potrebnih za izražanje vsake besede. Kitajski pisni sistem uporablja približno 50.000 znakov, čeprav se vsi ne uporabljajo pogosto. To pojasnjuje, zakaj ni presenetljivo, da je zelo malo ljudi lahko bralo in pisalo na cesarski Kitajski. Tudi v sodobnem času je za ustvarjanje pisalnega stroja v kitajskem jeziku trajalo nekaj desetletij.

Skladno pisanje

Skladni pisni sistemi uporabljajo simbole za predstavitev zlogov. Mnogi zgodnji pisni sistemi so bili zlogovni: asirski in babilonski klinopis na Bližnjem vzhodu, dva pisna sistema predklasične Grčije, japonska kana in starodavno majevsko pisanje Srednje Amerike.

Babylonian cuneiform is a good example of how syllabic writing was used and developed. It first developed from Sumerian logographic writing, and both were written by imprinting wedge-shaped marks on wet clay tablets. They would put syllabic signs one after the other to form words.

Cuneiform syllabic writing was used for a long time in the ancient Near East, where it was in use between the years 3,100 and 100 BC. It was used to write other languages as well as Akkadian, such as Hittite and Elamite.

Babylonian cuneiform has around 600 symbols, although many of them are used for their different syllabic values.

Alphabetic Writing

Most modern languages use alphabetic writing systems where each symbol represents a basic sound. Spanish and most modern European languages are written with alphabets that come from the Latin alphabet. The great advantage of alphabetical systems is that far fewer symbols need to be learned than in logographic or syllabic systems, as most alphabets feature fewer than 30 characters.

It’s rather ironic, but it’s possible that the invention of the first alphabet was inspired by the ancient Egyptian script, one of the most complex writing systems ever invented. Egyptian hieroglyphs combined logographic, syllabic, and alphabetic symbols. In the middle of the second millennium BC, communities living in the Sinai Peninsula discovered that all of the sounds of their language could be expressed using a small number of alphabetic symbols.

It’s likely that the alphabetic systems descended from the original Sinai script were widely used throughout the Levant until 1150 BC. However, as this type of script was mostly written on perishable materials like parchment and papyrus, very few original materials remain. However, papyrus has been preserved in Egypt due to of the dryness of the desert and the absence of bacteria.

The earliest examples of alphabetic writing, which date from 1450 to 1150 BC, were found at the site of the ancient Canaanite city of Ugarit. A writing system consisting of 30 cuneiform symbols was invented to write in Ugaritic. Ugaritic written documents were engraved on clay tablets that are almost indestructible when baked. However, the few remaining documents suggest that the inhabitants of Ugarit were more accustomed to the usual Semitic alphabetic writing tradition of writing on perishable materials.

A very late, and particularly special, example of a surviving original Semitic parchment is the so-called Dead Sea Scrolls. Dating from about 100 BC to 68 AD, these mysterious religious texts written in Aramaic and Hebrew were found between 1947 and 1956 in clay pots in an Israeli desert cave. It’s easier to trace the evolution of the Levantine alphabets used in Semitic languages like Phoenician, Hebrew, and Aramaic after 1200 BC, as there are a few inscriptions carved in stone.

These alphabetic scripts differ from how modern European alphabetic writing is used in two important respects. Firstly, in Semitic writing texts are normally written right to left, instead of left to right. Secondly, vowel sounds and diphthongs in languages that use Semitic scripts (a, e, i, o, u, o, ai, oo, etc.) are not written, and only consonants are recorded (b, k, d, f, g, etc.).

It seems that the writing of vowel sounds occurred by accident, and it wasn’t some sort of brilliant invention. The Greeks were aware of the Levantine alphabets by having established regular contact with the Phoenicians and other peoples of the region between 950 and 850 BC, when they both, among others, established markets throughout the Mediterranean. Some letters that represent consonants in the Semitic sense sounded like vowels to the Greeks.

The Greeks also took their alphabet to Italy, where it was adapted for use in Etruscan, Latin, and other languages. The Roman Empire helped to spread their alphabet throughout much of Western Europe, although the Greek alphabet was still used in the Eastern Empire. By the time the Western Roman Empire fell in the 5th century, it was already a Christian empire. Writing (in Latin) had become essential in ecclesiastical administration. Both the Latin writing system and Christianity survived the empire that gave birth to them. During the early medieval period, the Latin alphabet was adapted to transcribe various languages, such as Gothic, Old Irish, French and Old English. Meanwhile, in the East, the Greek Orthodox Church expanded to the north, Russia and the Balkans, taking the Greek alphabet with them. It’s said that two Orthodox clerics, St. Cyril and St. Methodius, adapted the Greek alphabet to write Slavic languages. This is why the alphabet currently used in Russia, Bulgaria and other parts of Eastern Europe is called Cyrillic, in honor of St. Cyril. In this way, the Semitic, Greek, and Latin alphabets served as the basis of most of the alphabets currently used in modern Europe, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent.


Vsebina

Human communication was initiated with the origin of speech approximately 500,000 BCE [ potreben citat ]. Symbols were developed about 30,000 years ago. The imperfection of speech, which nonetheless allowed easier dissemination of ideas and eventually resulted in the creation of new forms of communications, improving both the range at which people could communicate and the longevity of the information. All of those inventions were based on the key concept of the symbol.

The oldest known symbols created for the purpose of communication were cave paintings, a form of rock art, dating to the Upper Paleolithic age. The oldest known cave painting is located within Chauvet Cave, dated to around 30,000 BC. [1] These paintings contained increasing amounts of information: people may have created the first calendar as far back as 15,000 years ago. [2] The connection between drawing and writing is further shown by linguistics: in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece the concepts and words of drawing and writing were one and the same (Egyptian: 's-sh', Greek: 'graphein'). [3]

The next advancement in the history of communications came with the production of petroglyphs, carvings into a rock surface. It took about 20,000 years for homo sapiens to move from the first cave paintings to the first petroglyphs, which are dated to approximately the Neolithic and late Upper Paleolithic boundary, about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.

It is possible that Homo sapiens (humans) of that time used some other forms of communication, often for mnemonic purposes - specially arranged stones, symbols carved in wood or earth, quipu-like ropes, tattoos, but little other than the most durable carved stones has survived to modern times and we can only speculate about their existence based on our observation of still existing 'hunter-gatherer' cultures such as those of Africa or Oceania. [4]

A pictogram (pictograph) is a symbol representing a concept, object, activity, place or event by illustration. Pictography is a form of proto-writing whereby ideas are transmitted through drawing. Pictographs were the next step in the evolution of communication: the most important difference between petroglyphs and pictograms is that petroglyphs are simply showing an event, but pictograms are telling a story about the event, thus they can for example be ordered chronologically.

Pictograms were used by various ancient cultures all over the world since around 9000 BC, when tokens marked with simple pictures began to be used to label basic farm produce, and become increasingly popular around 6000–5000 BC.

They were the basis of cuneiform [5] and hieroglyphs, and began to develop into logographic writing systems around 5000 BC.

Pictograms, in turn, evolved into ideograms, graphical symbols that represent an idea. Their ancestors, the pictograms, could represent only something resembling their form: therefore a pictogram of a circle could represent a sun, but not concepts like 'heat', 'light', 'day' or 'Great God of the Sun'. Ideograms, on the other hand, could convey more abstract concepts, so that for example an ideogram of

Because some ideas are universal, many different cultures developed similar ideograms. For example, an eye with a tear means 'sadness' in Native American ideograms in California, as it does for the Aztecs, the early Chinese and the Egyptians. [ potreben citat ]

Early scripts Edit

The oldest-known forms of writing were primarily logographic in nature, based on pictographic and ideographic elements. Most writing systems can be broadly divided into three categories: logographic, syllabic in alphabetic (oz segmental) however, all three may be found in any given writing system in varying proportions, often making it difficult to categorise a system uniquely.

The invention of the first writing systems is roughly contemporary with the beginning of the Bronze Age in the late Neolithic of the late 4000 BC. The first writing system is generally believed to have been invented in pre-historic Sumer and developed by the late 3000's BC into cuneiform. Egyptian hieroglyphs, and the undeciphered Proto-Elamite writing system and Indus Valley script also date to this era, though a few scholars have questioned the Indus Valley script's status as a writing system.

The original Sumerian writing system was derived from a system of clay tokens used to represent commodities. By the end of the 4th millennium BC, this had evolved into a method of keeping accounts, using a round-shaped stylus impressed into soft clay at different angles for recording numbers. This was gradually augmented with pictographic writing using a sharp stylus to indicate what was being counted. Round-stylus and sharp-stylus writing was gradually replaced about 2700–2000 BC by writing using a wedge-shaped stylus (hence the term cuneiform), at first only for logograms, but developed to include phonetic elements by the 2800 BC. About 2600 BC cuneiform began to represent syllables of spoken Sumerian language.

Finally, cuneiform writing became a general purpose writing system for logograms, syllables, and numbers. By the 26th century BC, this script had been adapted to another Mesopotamian language, Akkadian, and from there to others such as Hurrian, and Hittite. Scripts similar in appearance to this writing system include those for Ugaritic and Old Persian.

The Chinese script may have originated independently of the Middle Eastern scripts, around the 16th century BC (early Shang Dynasty), out of a late neolithic Chinese system of proto-writing dating back to c. 6000 BC. The pre-Columbian writing systems of the Americas, including Olmec and Mayan, are also generally believed to have had independent origins.

Alphabet Edit

The first pure alphabets (properly, "abjads", mapping single symbols to single phonemes, but not necessarily each phoneme to a symbol) emerged around 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt, but by then alphabetic principles had already been incorporated into Egyptian hieroglyphs for a millennium (see Middle Bronze Age alphabets).

By 2700 BC, Egyptian writing had a set of some 22 hieroglyphs to represent syllables that begin with a single consonant of their language, plus a vowel (or no vowel) to be supplied by the native speaker. These glyphs were used as pronunciation guides for logograms, to write grammatical inflections, and, later, to transcribe loan words and foreign names.

However, although seemingly alphabetic in nature, the original Egyptian uniliterals were not a system and were never used by themselves to encode Egyptian speech. In the Middle Bronze Age an apparently "alphabetic" system is thought by some to have been developed in central Egypt around 1700 BC for or by Semitic workers, but we cannot read these early writings and their exact nature remains open to interpretation.

Over the next five centuries this Semitic "alphabet" (really a syllabary like Phoenician writing) seems to have spread north. All subsequent alphabets around the world [ potreben citat ] with the sole exception of Korean Hangul have either descended from it, or been inspired by one of its descendants.

Scholars agree that there is a relationship between the West-Semitic alphabet and the creation of the Greek alphabet. There is debate between scholars regarding the earliest uses of the Greek alphabet because of the changes that were made to create the Greek alphabet. [6]

The Greek alphabet had the following characteristics:

  1. The Greek lettering we know of today traces back to the eighth century B.C.
  2. Early Greek scripts used the twenty-two West-Semitic letters, and included five supplementary letters.
  3. Early Greek was not uniform in structure, and had many local variations.
  4. The Greek lettering was written using a lapidary style of writing.
  5. Greek was written in a boustrophedon style.

Scholars believe that at one point in time, early Greek scripts were very close to the West-Semitic alphabet. Over time, the changes that were made to the Greek alphabet were introduced as a result of the need for the Greeks to find a better way to express their spoken language in a more accurate way. [6]

Storytelling Edit

Verbal communication is one of the earliest forms of human communication, the oral tradition of storytelling has dated back to various times in history. The development of communication in its oral form can be categorized based on certain historical periods. The complexity of oral communication has always been reflective based on the circumstance of the time period. Verbal communication was never bound to one specific area, instead, it had and continues to be a globally shared tradition of communication. [7] People communicated through song, poems, and chants, as some examples. People would gather in groups and pass down stories, myths, and history. Oral poets from Indo-European regions were known as "weavers of words" for their mastery over the spoken word and ability to tell stories. [8] Nomadic people also had oral traditions that they used to tell stories of the history of their people to pass them on to the next generation.

Nomadic tribes have been the torch bearers of oral storytelling. Nomads of Arabia are one example of the many nomadic tribes that have continued through history to use oral storytelling as a tool to tell their histories and the story of their people. Due to the nature of nomadic life, these individuals were often left without architecture and possessions to call their own, and often left little to no traces of themselves. [9] The richness of the nomadic life and culture is preserved by early Muslim scholars who collect the poems and stories that are handed down from generation to generation. Poems created by these Arabic nomads are passed down by specialists known as sha'ir. These individuals spread the stories and histories of these nomadic tribes, and often in times of war, would strengthen morale within members of given tribes through these stories. [ potreben citat ]

In its natural form, oral communication was, and has continued to be, one of the best ways for humans to spread their message, history, and traditions to the world. [ potreben citat ]

Timeline of writing technology Edit

  • 30,000 BC – In ice-age Europe, people mark ivory, bone, and stone with patterns to keep track of time, using a lunar calendar. [10]
  • 14,000 BC – In what is now Mezhirich, Ukraine, the first known artifact with a map on it is made using bone. [10]
  • Prior to 3500 BC – Communication was carried out through paintings of indigenous tribes. – The Sumerians develop cuneiform writing and the Egyptians develop hieroglyphic writing.
  • 16th century BC – The Phoenicians develop an alphabet.
  • 105 – Tsai Lun invents paper.
  • 7th century – Hindu-Malayan empires write legal documents on copper plate scrolls, and write other documents on more perishable media.
  • 751 – Paper is introduced to the Muslim world after the Battle of Talas.
  • 1250 – The quill is used for writing. [10]
  • 1305 – The Chinese develop wooden blockmovable type printing.
  • 1450 – Johannes Gutenberg invents a printing press with metal movable type.
  • 1844 – Charles Fenerty produces paper from a wood pulp, eliminating rag paper which was in limited supply.
  • 1849 – Associated Press organizes Nova Scotiapony express to carry latest European news for New York newspapers.
  • 1958 – Chester Carlson presents the first photocopier suitable for office use.

The history of telecommunication - the transmission of signals over a distance for the purpose of communication - began thousands of years ago with the use of smoke signals and drums in Africa, America and parts of Asia. In the 1790s the first fixed semaphore systems emerged in Europe however it was not until the 1830s that electrical telecommunication systems started to appear.


Which undeciphered writing system has the largest corpus of text? - Zgodovina

Ancient History relies on disciplines such as Epigraphy, the study of ancient inscribed texts, for evidence of the recorded past. However, these texts, “inscriptions”, are often damaged over the centuries, and illegible parts of the text must be restored by specialists, known as epigraphists. This work presents PYTHIA, the first ancient text restoration model that recovers missing characters from a damaged text input using deep neural networks. Its architecture is carefully designed to handle longterm context information, and deal efficiently with missing or corrupted character and word representations. To train it, we wrote a nontrivial pipeline to convert PHI, the largest digital corpus of ancient Greek inscriptions, to machine actionable text, which we call PHI-ML. On PHI-ML, PYTHIA’s predictions achieve a 30.1% character error rate, compared to the 57.3% of human epigraphists. Moreover, in 73.5% of cases the ground-truth sequence was among the Top-20 hypotheses of PYTHIA, which effectively demonstrates the impact of this assistive method on the field of digital epigraphy, and sets the state-of-the-art in ancient text restoration.

Authors' Notes

Historians rely on different sources to reconstruct the thought, society and history of past civilisations. Many of these sources are text-based – whether written on scrolls or carved into stone, the preserved records of the past help shed light on ancient societies. However, these records of our ancient cultural heritage are often incomplete: due to deliberate destruction, or erosion and fragmentation over time. This is the case for inscriptions: texts written on a durable surface (such as stone, ceramic, metal) by individuals, groups and institutions of the past, and which are the focus of the discipline called epigraphy . Thousands of inscriptions have survived to our day but the majority have suffered damage over the centuries, and parts of the text are illegible or lost (Figure 1). The reconstruction ("restoration") of these documents is complex and time consuming, but necessary for a deeper understanding of civilisations past.

One of the issues with discerning meaning from incomplete fragments of text is that there are often multiple possible solutions. In many word games and puzzles, players guess letters to complete a word or phrase – the more letters that are specified, the more constrained the possible solutions become. But unlike these games, where players have to guess a phrase in isolation, historians restoring a text can estimate the likelihood of different possible solutions based on other context clues in the inscription – such as grammatical and linguistic considerations, layout and shape, textual parallels, and historical context. Now, by using machine learning trained on ancient texts, we’ve built a system that can furnish a more complete and systematically ranked list of possible solutions, which we hope will augment historians’ understanding of a text.

Figure 1: Damaged inscription: a decree of the Athenian Assembly relating to the management of the Acropolis (dating 485/4 BCE). IG I3 4B. (CC BY-SA 3.0, WikiMedia)

Pythia

Pythia – which takes its name from the woman who delivered the god Apollo's oracular responses at the Greek sanctuary of Delphi – is the first ancient text restoration model that recovers missing characters from a damaged text input using deep neural networks. Bringing together the disciplines of ancient history and deep learning, the present work offers a fully automated aid to the text restoration task, providing ancient historians with multiple textual restorations, as well as the confidence level for each hypothesis.

Pythia takes a sequence of damaged text as input, and is trained to predict character sequences comprising hypothesised restorations of ancient Greek inscriptions (texts written in the Greek alphabet dating between the seventh century BCE and the fifth century CE). The architecture works at both the character- and word-level, thereby effectively handling long-term context information, and dealing efficiently with incomplete word representations (Figure 2). This makes it applicable to all disciplines dealing with ancient texts ( philology , papyrology , codicology ) and applies to any language (ancient or modern).

Figure 2: Pythia processing the phrase μηδέν ἄγαν ( Mēdèn ágan ) "nothing in excess," a fabled maxim inscribed on Apollo’s temple in Delphi. The letters "γα" are the characters to be predicted, and are annotated with ‘?’. Since ἄ??ν is not a complete word, its embedding is treated as unknown (‘unk’). The decoder outputs correctly "γα".

Experimental evaluation

To train Pythia, we wrote a non-trivial pipeline to convert the largest digital corpus of ancient Greek inscriptions ( PHI Greek Inscriptions ) to machine actionable text, which we call PHI-ML. As shown in Table 1, Pythia’s predictions on PHI-ML achieve a 30.1% character error rate, compared to the 57.3% of evaluated human ancient historians (specifically, these were PhD students from Oxford). Moreover, in 73.5% of cases the ground-truth sequence was among the Top-20 hypotheses of Pythia, which effectively demonstrates the impact of this assistive method on the field of digital epigraphy, and sets the state-of-the-art in ancient text restoration.

Table 1: Pythia's Predictive performance of on PHI-ML.

The importance of context

To evaluate Pythia’s receptiveness to context information and visualise the attention weights at each decoding step, we experimented with the modified lines of an inscription from the city of Pergamon (in modern-day Turkey)*. In the text of Figure 3, the last word is a Greek personal name ending in -ου. We set ἀπολλοδώρου ("Apollodorou") as the personal name, and hid its first 9 characters. This name was specifically chosen because it already appeared within the input text. Pythia attended to the contextually-relevant parts of the text - specifically, ἀπολλοδώρου. The sequence ἀπολλοδώρ was predicted correctly. As a litmus test, we substituted ἀπολλοδώρου in the input text with another personal name of the same length: ἀρτεμιδώρου ("Artemidorou"). The predicted sequence changed accordingly to ἀρτεμιδώρ, thereby illustrating the importance of context in the prediction process.

Figure 3: Visualisation of the attention weights for the decoding of the first 4 missing characters. To aid visualisation, the weights within the area of the characters to be predicted (‘?’) are in green, and in blue for the rest of the text the magnitude of the weights is represented by the colour intensity. The ground-truth text ἀπολλοδώρ appears in the input text, and Pythia attends to the relevant parts of the sequence.

Future research

The combination of machine learning and epigraphy has the potential to impact meaningfully the study of inscribed texts, and widen the scope of the historian’s work. For this reason, we have open-sourced an online Python notebook, Pythia, and PHI-ML’s processing pipeline at https://github.com/sommerschield/ancient-text-restoration , collaborating with scholars at the University of Oxford . By so doing, we hope to aid future research and inspire further interdisciplinary work.

*Specifically, lines b.8- c.5 of the inscription MDAI(A) 32 (1907) 428, 275.


The Story of India’s Many Scripts

While India’s scripts are ancient, technology and modernity are changing their usage patterns.

Only a few years ago, things did not seem to be going well for India’s various alphabets, often known as the Indic or Brahmic scripts after the historical Iron Age script that is the ancestor of modern South and Southeast Asian writing systems. Digitalization and the widespread proliferation of Roman-alphabet keyboards in India meant that Indian users would often transcribe Indian languages using ad hoc Romanizations on the internet and via text.

Yet today, one can’t follow the Indian Twittersphere or Indian content on social media and the rest of the internet without noticing the recent proliferation of Indic script material, particularly Devanagari (the script used for Hindi, Marathi, and Nepali). Technology and innovation helped this process along, and instead of shrinking the sphere of Indic script usage, they allow Indic scripts to be used more broadly, especially at the popular level. The use of Unicode, and the spread of Indic script transliteration and typing interfaces on Google, and on phones—which is how most Indians access the Internet—have all made it much easier to publish online in Indic scripts. Many phones and computers in India are not specifically designed with Indic script keyboards and instead use the Roman alphabet keyboards common in the West. Transliteration software renders this moot. The increased use of Indic-language scripts has also lead to newer and more artistic fonts for Indian languages.

In short, this is a golden age for Indic language script usage, due to technology and increased literacy. This is despite both the proliferation of English-language education in India, and the shoddy quality of public schools in that country. The very nature of modernity, with its mass communication, advertisements, social platforms, and the spread of information and entertainment to everyone with a smartphone, means that everyone will eventually gain and utilize basic literacy, even if by osmosis and not formal education. And most of this literacy in India will be in local languages. This will be the first time in India’s recorded history that its scripts are being used so widely.

India has a long history of writing. While India has been a literate culture for millennia, it has also greatly valued oral knowledge. The ancient Hindu scriptures, the Vedas, the oldest of which dated to around 1500 BCE were memorized verbatim for at least a thousand years, if not more, before being committed to writing. The oldest writing found in the subcontinent is the as yet undeciphered script of the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), which seems to have been somewhat logo-syllabic in nature. The script fell out of use by 1500 BCE.

The Indus Valley Script. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The linguistic landscape of the subcontinent changed dramatically during the 2nd millennium BCE, so that is is impossible to determine if there is a connection between the IVC script and the next clearly attested script in India, the Brahmi script found in the inscriptions of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka (ruled 268-232 BCE), especially since they probably represented vastly different, unrelated languages.

The sudden appearance of the Brahmi writing system is one of the great mysteries of writing in India, as there is no evidence of inscriptions beforehand. Another script, the (extinct, childless) Kharosthi of northwest Pakistan and Afghanistan seems to be clearly derived from the imperial Aramaic script used by the Persians who ruled over parts of the Indus Valley for two centuries until the arrival of Alexander the Great. It is unclear if the fully developed Brahmi script was invented by the Mauryan Empire as a result of exposure to Aramaic, but this seems unlikely, particularly since there were advanced states in the Ganges valley and a corpus of Vedic literature dating from before the Mauryan period.

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It is more likely that pre-Mauryan inscriptions may still be discovered, and in fact, some Brahmi inscriptions have been found in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka dating to the 6th century BCE. Is it possible then, that writing spread from the south to the north, countervening the traditional notion that the Indic scripts originate in the Ganges valley? This may quite possibly be the case, especially since the coasts of southern India were more exposed to foreign trade from the Middle East than northern India, and scripts from traders could have been brought to India this way (the same way the Phoenicians brought their script to Greece). This long gestation period and overland route from southern to northern India may explain why the Brahmi script, even if it is vaguely derived from Middle Eastern alphabets, is so different and nativized, especially relative to the more obviously Middle Eastern-inspired Kharosthi.

The Possible Evolution of Brahmi from Middle Eastern Scripts. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Once the Brahmi script was spread throughout India by the subcontinent-wide Mauryan Empire, it was used by the subcontinent’s elites.However, unlike imperial China with its unified central government and bureaucratic exam system, and Christian and Muslim societies that were united by a written scripture, oral culture and regional differences in India led to the Brahmi script differentiating and evolving into different scripts in various regions of India, a phenomenon that was already occurring by the end of the Maruyan period in the 2nd century BCE. This phenomenon—each literary language having a particular and unique script—is not actually that unique to India, as the various languages of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean also evolved their own scripts from a common source.

The increased need for quicker, daily writing, versus use for monumental inscriptions may have led to the predominance of cursive styles that evolved into India’s modern scripts. Various other factors may have been at play, such as the material used for writing: in South India, scripts became more rounded, as a result of writing on palm leaves, while in North India, cloth and birch bark allowed for more angular lines, and indeed the major division amongst Brahmic scripts is between the southern Indian/Southeast Asian scripts and the northern Indian and Tibetan scripts.

The Differentiation of Brahmi Letter Shapes. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Regional linguistic differences also helped Indic writing proliferate into many scripts in both South and Southeast Asia. It became prestigious for every major language to have its own script, though what evolved into today’s Devanagari (which began to emerge by the 7th century CE) script retained a special prestige due to its close association with Sanskrit. It is unclear if the evolution of Indic scripts into new forms would have ever stopped had it not been for the standardization process that is necessary for a print-oriented mass modern society. Relatively recently, for example, Devanagari spawned new, regional variations such as the Gujarati script, indicating that there was no real “final form” in the evolution of letter shapes in Indic writing. This seems to have remained the case, even when Indic-script users were exposed to the more unchanging Roman and Arabic alphabets.

The Evolution of Letter Shapes. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The change in letter forms leading to new scripts was probably so slow, generation by generation, that the process did not necessarily involve conscious change from one script to another, but a slow evolution of differences in letter formation as texts were copied throughout the ages. A similar development occurred in medieval Europe with the Latin script, but the development of the printing press, and Renaissance ideas about how the Latin script ought to look like led to a typographical convergence.

Brahmi and Devanagari found together on a pillar. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The evolution of Brahmi into so many scripts over time in India does however raise the question of what individuals and scribes thought about the changes upon becoming aware—and they were aware, as inscriptions in multiple different Indian scripts have been found together, like Kannada with Devanagari—of the fact that their contemporary writing systems were divergent in separate regions, and were also vastly different from the forms found in inscriptions and ancient documents. While 19th century scribes of Indian scripts were unable to tell the British what was written on ancient pillars from the Mauryan Era (the British deciphered Brahmi in 1837), this inability to read ancient forms of writing does not always seem to be the case. In fact, there have been examples of Mauryan, Gupta, and early Nagari inscriptions found together, with each subsequent script alluding to the content of what was written before it in a predecessor script.

But that fact that this knowledge was lost over time and that Indian scripts differentiated into so many forms does seem to indicate that literacy was not widespread and was limited to pockets of individuals, a trend which probably accelerated due to the eclipse of a pan-Indian literary culture after the 12th century. Before the emergence of a modern, mass culture throughout India, writing styles and scripts were particular to regions, and even castes, with scribes and merchants often utilizing their own scripts, which were usually simpler forms of the more formal monumental alphabets used for official or religious purposes.

However, modern trends such as the emergence of a politically unified, subcontinent-wide state in India, new scholarship, and technology seem to be reversed the differentiation that has characterized Indian scripts for past 2,000 years. The literacy of hundred of millions of people in native scripts makes it unlikely that the shapes of letters used by millions of people everyday for communication will change anytime soon, as that would lead to confusion and a lack of communication. The standardization and use of some scripts for mass print and online have also led to the decline of caste and trade based scripts, as well as many local variations. Many hitherto unwritten modern languages are now written in established scripts, usually the script most prevalent in that particular state of India’s, instead of evolving a new script for the language.

While India’s scripts are ancient, technology and modernity are changing their usage patterns, and are in fact allowing them to thrive as never before in standardized and widely used forms, as more people gain literacy and access to the internet.


Get around [ edit ]

While Corpus Christi is ostensibly laid out in a classic city-block style, the adaptation of that system to the local geography can make navigation a little confusing. Nevertheless, there are several main roads that traverse nearly the entire city, and these can be used to orient yourself if you find yourself lost.

By car [ edit ]

Most visitors and locals travel around Corpus Christi in cars. Most likely, a rental or personal car is the best way for you to see the city.

The main routes one needs to know to get around efficiently in Corpus Christi are I-37, South Padre Island Drive (TX-358), Crosstown Expressway (TX-286), in Ocean Drive/Shoreline Boulevard (Ocean Drive is an extension of Shoreline Blvd. for about seven miles along Corpus Christi Bay).

I-37 brings you into town from the west and ends on Shoreline Drive downtown on the Bayfront.

Shoreline Blvd. is a section of about four miles in downtown Corpus Christi along the bay. It begins in the area of the Art Museum of South Texas and leads south, becoming Ocean Drive. Following Ocean Drive takes one through the most scenic part of the city and to its end at the Naval Air Station and Texas A&M.

South Padre Island Drive does not go to South Padre Island (a frequent mistake made by visitors), but is better thought of as the southern section of Padre Island Drive. It is a section of 358 running from I-37 down the southern side of the city from northwest to southeast and ending on Padre Island at Padre Island National Seashore. Along it is the main shopping and dining area for the city. Locals will invariably refer to South Padre Island Drive as S.P.I.D., with the letters always pronounced separately. Visitors should remember that there will not be signs reading SPID. Instead, many read NAS-CCAD (for Naval Air Station and Corpus Christi Army Depot) or TX-358.

Connecting the northern end of S.P.I.D. to the downtown area near where I-37 ends is the Crosstown Expressway.

The Harbor Bridge takes drivers over the ship channel from downtown to Corpus Christi Beach, a popular destination for tourists.

By public transit [ edit ]

Corpus Christi has a small trolley service (actually buses poorly disguised as trolleys) and a citywide bus service. Both are run by the Corpus Christi Regional Transit Authority, and schedules can be found at their website [11].

There is no Metro, subway, or any other form of a city rail service.

Car rental services can be found at the airport or along S.P.I.D.

Corpus Christi has a marina, for those few lucky enough to travel by water.


Epi-Olmec script

One of the most important Olmec finds was the discovery of an inscribed slab found under the waters of the Acula River near the village of La Mojarra in 1986 in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Dubbed Stela 1 of La Mojarra, this monument was inscribed with 465 glyphs arranged in 21 columns, and the image of a ruler. The writing on it is nothing like any other writing system in Mesoamerica, such as Maya, Zapotec, Mixtec, or Aztec, although like the Maya it also used the Long Count.

However, Stela 1 of La Mojarra is not the only example of its writing system. Most of the monuments that bear glyphs in the same (or similar) writing system are also found near the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the thin stretch of land that separates the majority of Mexico from its south-eastern states and from Central America, although none has texts as long as the Stela. The famous Tuxtla Statuette, a hand-length nephrite figurine of an almost comedic man dressed in a duck's outfit, bears a Long Count date of 162 CE as well as non-calendric glyphs. Other famous inscriptions include Stela C of Tres Zapotes, with a Long Count date of 32 BCE, and Stela 1 of Chiapa de Corzo (located in Chiapas, Mexico), with an incomplete date conjectured to be 36 BCE. In the site of Cerro de las Mesas, Veracruz, highly erroded monuments also bear Long Count dates, but from the early Classic period at around 450 CE, as well as a large stone version of the Tuxtla Statuette devoid of any text.

Scholars have given this script many names, epi-Olmec was chosen since it is more common in scientific literature. Some have called this script the "La Mojarra script" after the location where the Stela was found. Another name, also based on a geographical name, is the "Isthmian Script", named after the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. You would find all three names used in publications, and websites. Yet another name is the "Tuxtla Script", named after the Tuxtla Statuette as well as the Tuxtla Mountains near which many of the texts have been found.

Left side image of La Mojarra Stela 1, showing a person identified as "Harvester Mountain Lord". Inscriptions in the Isthmian or Epi-Olmec script on the right side of La Mojarra Stela 1

The Epi-Olmec script turned out to be structurally similar to the Maya. It is logophonetic, meaning that one set of the signs, the phonograms, have phonetic values, while the other glyphs, called logograms, represents morpheme. A morpheme is a word or part of a word that cannot be broken further into smaller units with relevant meaning. For instance, the English word beautiful can be broken down into beauty and -ful, neither of which can be broken down further. Beauty is a morpheme because it is a word. Furthermore, -ful carries the meaning of "a lot of", and can also be used with other words, like bountiful, faithful, and others. Hence it is not a unique derivation of beauty, but a morpheme in its own right.

In a logophonetic system, both logograms and phonograms are used. Frequently logograms make up the root of a word whereas phonograms spell out the prefixes and suffixes that modify the root.

The vowel u ("u" with a line through the middle) is a strange vowel. It is a central high vowel, meaning that it's like the common vowel [i] but the position of the peak of the tongue is halfway between the throat and the teeth. You can check out Phonetics for details on how to pronounce it.

All phonograms in the Epi-Olmec script represent syllables. So we call the set of phonograms the syllabary:

The Epi-Olmec culture was a cultural area in the central region of the present-day Mexican state of Veracruz, concentrated in the Papaloapan River basin, a culture that existed during the Late Formative period, from roughly 300 BCE to roughly 250 CE. Epi-Olmec was a successor culture to the Olmec, hence the prefix "epi-" or "post-". Although Epi-Olmec did not attain the far-reaching achievements of that earlier culture, it did realize, with its sophisticated calendrics and writing system, a level of cultural complexity unknown to the Olmecs.


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