Skip to comments.Decoding antiquity: Eight scripts that still can't be read
Posted on 05/29/2009 9:14:19 PM PDT by BGHater
WRITING is one of the greatest inventions in human history. Perhaps the greatest, since it made history possible. Without writing, there could be no accumulation of knowledge, no historical record, no science - and of course no books, newspapers or internet.
The first true writing we know of is Sumerian cuneiform - consisting mainly of wedge-shaped impressions on clay tablets - which was used more than 5000 years ago in Mesopotamia. Soon afterwards writing appeared in Egypt, and much later in Europe, China and Central America. Civilisations have invented hundreds of different writing systems. Some, such as the one you are reading now, have remained in use, but most have fallen into disuse.
These dead scripts tantalise us. We can see that they are writing, but what do they say?
That is the great challenge of decipherment: to reach deep into the past and hear the voices of the dead. When the Egyptian hieroglyphs were deciphered in 1823, they extended the span of recorded history by around 2000 years and allowed us to read the words of Ramses the Great. The decipherment of the Mayan glyphs revealed that the New World had a sophisticated, literate civilisation at the time of the Roman empire.
So how do you decipher an unknown script? There are two minimum requirements. First, there has to be enough material to work with. Secondly, there must be some link to a known language. It helps enormously if there is a bilingual inscription or identifiable proper names - the Rosetta Stone (see image), for example, is written in both ancient Egyptian and ancient Greek, and also contains the name of the Ptolemy dynasty.
(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...
Ancient Languages chicken scratch ping.
Nine, if you count Obambi's birth certificate.
That one is simple.
Obama is the greatest and so on.
I’m pretty sure I know what the first lines of that script say:
Moe: Mah Hah?
Curly: Ah Hah! Raz-banyah Yatchee benefucci a tinnimah coronji?
Moe: Yaskee-taskee a tiba gibbah sahee.
Some of these scripts are not likely to contibute much to our knowledge of world civilization, but Linear A, Etruscan, Meroitic, and Indus could tell us a lot about the early Minoan, Roman, and Egyptian civilizations, and everything about Indus Valley civilization.
Uhh ehh uh ah ah
Ting tang walla walla bing bang
Uhh ehh uh ah ah
Ting tang walla walla bing bang
I’ve got more than 8 scripts I wrote myself that even I can’t read.
Hmmm. That tells a story about a flying saucer....
LOL, Zero with a pancake on his head...!
Oh my lord,,,i decoded some of it!!
It says, “beware the rise of communism. A great nation under attack by,,,,”
Im going to have to work on it more,,its some african name starting with an “O”.
Not surprisingly, alot of the earliest tablets and scripts have been shown to be pretty mundane - 24 bushels of wheat, 14 cows, that sort of thing. Basic accounting and contracts.
“How hard shall the aftermath be of the great election of year 5769 A.M. But woe to him who empowered him!”
“Ishtar.” Now *there’s* a script that shouldn’t have been read.
Its so obvious...the inscription reads “It’s all Bush’s fault”
The Enigma Of The World's
by Andrew Robinson
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
It’s handy being cuneilingual...
Nantucket Nectars....good stuff. My favorite is grapeade. Not sure if you’re familiar with a company called Jones. They make a really good root beer.
Thanks for the map, I had no idea. This is fascinating.
My husband CT scanned a clay tablet within a clay "envelope" to see if the script inside was legible and decipherable. Just a couple of days before he was to present his paper at a conference in Jerusalem, they were finally able to manipulate the image well enough for a scholar, in California I think, to read it. It was indeed a contract or shopping list of some sort. It was a interesting project for him.
Our alphabet developed from the Phoenician alphabet. Clay tablets were found at the ancient Ugarit site in northern Syria showing a list of 30 letters. Each letter is based on a “one sound, one sign” system. The alphabet was developed around 14th century BC and is considered the oldest alphabet in the world.
Check out this site for more about Ugarit and to see an alphabet clay tablet:
Lord Elgin bought the Elgin marbles from the owners at that time. If he hadn’t they have been destroyed by now. The belong to the British.
That is utter nonsense.
HE DID NOT.
He bribed and illegally obtained the items.
HE HAD NO DOCUMENTS OR ANYTHING.
The furma only appeared TWO WEEKS after parlament rejected the purchase. It was an english translation of an itallian translation of a lost turkish document recreated from memory. not a joke.
They were 100% taken without authority from the Sultan.
Who ordered, btw no antiquities taken from his lands. In response to the wide spread grave robbing in egypt and across the mediteranian.
The british btw, SCRAPED OFF ALL THE PAINT on the sculptures. They were all painted. In addition the british actually BLEACHED with acid the marbles in order that they match the gift shop copies.
ON TOP OF ALL THIS, Mr. Duveen used to make copies off the originals. The impressons doing their own damage as the negative was removed. This was to sell copies to his aristocratic friends. In order to avoid criminal charges for selling fakes as originals, duveen donated the museum.
Sorry there are wayy too many law review and journalist entries that contradict that myth. The only schollars who buy that cool aid that the british took care fo the marbles are the british museum snobs.
[years later at the FR reunion] “And that was the thread that got ‘Civ and null’n’void banned. I was there, I saw the whole thing.”
The new Parthenon Museum is open. It is absolutly stunning.
Most people do not realize Elgin did not have time to steal all the marbles and almost have of the original freeze is still in Greece.
The new museum recreates the ENTIRE story. The parts held in british custody are left white. The white parts are missing. It is an absolutly stunning. The museum has a three story glass wall looking upon the parthenon.
The museum itself was voted state of the art for the presentation of the scuptures take by elgin to decorate his house.
Oh, and LOLOLOLOL!
Yeah. I miss Civ and I remember nully. He was a cunning linguist...
(a year later) I just found that again, LOLOL!
Minoan GreekMinoan Greek (Indo-Hittite) belongs to the Hellenic sub-branch of the Indo-European branch of the Indo-Hittite family of languages. Along with Mycenaean Greek, the two languages were both called Cretan, and for many years were thought to comprise a separate language family. Recent research has established that both are clearly sister languages to Greek. Inscriptions formerly called Linear A, from 1600 B.C., are now known to be in Minoan Greek.
U of Mt Mansfield Library