Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2017

1 January 2020

Understanding Relations between Scripts. The Aegean Writing Systems

Edited by Philippa M. Steele

Understanding Relations between Scripts. The Aegean Writing Systems

City: Oxford & Philadelphia

Year: 2017

Publisher: Oxbow books

Description: Paperback, 221 p., numerous b/w tables, 84 b/w figures, 17 x 24 cm


Understanding Relations Between Scripts: The Aegean Writing Systems arises from a conference held in Cambridge in 2015. The question of how writing systems are related to each other, and how we can study those relationships, has not been studied in detail and this volume aims to fill a gap in scholarship by presenting a number of case studies focused on the writing systems of the Bronze Age Aegean. These include Cretan Hieroglyphic, Linear A and Linear B, used predominantly in Crete and mainland Greece, as well as the Cypro-Minoan script of Cyprus. Most of these systems (the only major exception being Linear B) remain undeciphered to some degree but we nevertheless have considerable evidence for their development and use.

Each contributor focuses on a different theoretical problem and/or set of scripts. Important questions include: How and why did writing emerge in Crete in the Middle Bronze Age? What is the relationship between writing and art? Why did different writing systems co-exist with each other? What changes were made when a new system was developed from an old one? Can our understanding of how different systems are related to each other help us to reconstruct the values of script signs? The contributors tackle such questions by employing a variety of methods, from epigraphic and palaeographic analysis to typological comparison and contextual study.

The result is a coherent volume that will not only enrich our understanding of the ancient Aegean writing systems in particular, but will also provide an important example for future studies of writing across the world.


List of figures [ix-xi]

Preface [xii-xiii]

Abbreviations [xiv-xv]

Chapter 1. Introduction: the Aegean writing systems [1-6]
Philippa M. Steele

Chapter 2. Another beginning’s end: secondary script formation in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean [7-32]
Silvia Ferrara

Chapter 3. Cretan ‘Hieroglyphic’ and the nature of script [33-56]
Roeland P.-J.E. Decorte

Chapter 4. Linear B script and Linear B administrative system – different patterns in their development [57-68]
Helena Tomas

Chapter 5. Reconstructing the matrix of the ‘Mycenaean’ literate administrations [69-92]
Vassilis Petrakis

Chapter 6. From Linear B to Linear A: the problem of the backward projection of sound values [93-110]
Philippa M. Steele & Torsten Meißner

Chapter 7. Processes of script adaptation and creation in Linear B: the evidence of the ‘extra’ signs [111-126]
Anna P. Judson

Chapter 8. Script comparison in the investigation of Cypro-Minoan [127-161]
Miguel Valério

Chapter 9. Is there anything like a Cypro-Minoan 3 script? [162-179]
Yves Duhoux

Chapter 10. Script and language on Cyprus during the Geometric Period: an overview on the occasion of two new inscriptions [180-201]
Markus Egetmeyer

Bibliography [202-221]


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