Thursday, 15 September 2011

Cities and Writing

No picture today just something to think about.

CITIES AND WRITING

Urban settlement and writing are linked!

Egypt Proto Hieroglyphs appear along with first settlements along the Nile.

Mesopotamia Cuneiform appears in the cities of the South.

Crete. Linear A and B develop in Crete always extensively settled in the lowlands from the Neolithic onwards. Linear B even when abandoned in Crete was still used in Cyprus for a few more centuries.

Greece. Yes the ABC was introduced from Asia Minor by traders but where did the standard form of the Greek ABC we use today start! Athens and Ionia's cities.

Rome. The alphabet spread north from the Greek settlements reinforced by the Etruscans having a script.

Nordic and Germanic Runes. Despite theories about these being a "sacred script"  runes begun appearing more frequently when trading connections with the Romans begun.

Celtic Ogham. The idea of an ABC may have come from the Mediterranean via the TIN trading routes but the signs used ... well the most interesting idea I've seen is that the strokes across a line represented some kind of sign language used by Druids?

Indian Devanagari. Can be traced back to imported Aramaic scripts used by traders.

Chinese Oracle Bone Script. A huge deposit of inscribed bones was found in which was basically a city garbage dump back in the Neolithic Shang / Zhou era.

Mayan Glyphs. Oops that's not a hill. That's another abandoned Mayan settlement!  Any year now some one will find artifacts that show early stages of the glyph system!

Cities and writing. Can you name one culture that had writing and its not traceable back to another earlier urban society? Okay maybe the Easter Island script? Maybe?

Is someone thinking the Inca quiqu system? Chances are we'll find that's a representation in knots of some kind of previously used system. The Inca had a charming habit of creating cultural unity in the empire by doing their best to obliterate earlier oral traditions. No writing in South America? Maybe not?

The link to Amazon isnt working today so I cant show you a cover picture of one of my favorite books on scripts. Google or Amazon search the name Nakanishi!