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Ancient Writing

Ancient writing began about 5,000 years ago, as far as we can tell. The earliest books of ancient writing include the Bible, the Koran, the Popul Wuj, the Egyptian book of the dead, and other pieces of written information.
  1. Ancient Greek and Roman (7)
  2. Ancient Writers (20)
  3. Ancient Writing Egypt (9)
  4. Ancient Writing Mesopotamia (7)
  5. Ancient Writing of Asia (11)
  6. Ancient Writing of Europe (14)
  7. Ancient Writing: The Bible (11)
  8. Writing of the Americas (6)

Undeciphered Scripts - a Photo Essay
Undeciphered scripts have a fascination all their own. Hieroglyphs, signs, knots and carvings, painted and impressed into objects and rock walls. This photo essay examines several of the world's undeciphered scripts.

In Search of Myths and Heroes - A Book Review
Myths and Heroes is a wistful book that adds to the mythology of the ancient writings, not in a clearer image of what the past was like or even approaching that; but in the high romance of a favorite story told again and again.

Codex
A codex (plural codices) is the technical name for an ancient writing in the form of an unbound book or manuscript.

Decipherment
The word decipherment is used by archaeologists to refer to the translation of ancient writing into modern day languages.

Notation, Paleolithic
Paleolithic notation is the term used by archaeologists for deliberate markings made by our ancestors to count objects or remember events in a sequence.

The History of Math and Accounting
Ah yes, what would we be without math? (don't say happier). Mary Bellis, your guide to Inventions and Inventors, reports on the history of algebra, accounting, logarithms, and other useful pieces of civilization.

Trivia Quiz: Rosetta Stone
What do you know about the Rosetta Stone? Here's how to find out...

Tyranny of the Text
Is the Bible fact or fiction? The question is at the absolute heart of archaeology, central to the growth and development of archaeology, and it is the one that gets more archaeologists into trouble than any other.

Ancient Scripts
A collection of information on ancient writing from around the world; from software engineer and amateur linguist Lawrence K. Lo.

APIS: Advanced Papyrological Information System
A database of information about ancient writing on papyri, including digital images and some English translations. The plan is to bring all of the texts under one web site; Columbia University has a substantial start.

Inscriptifact
From West Semitic Research, a planned online collection of manuscripts, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Canaanite texts from the biblical period and earlier, Mesopotamian documents and medieval Jewish manuscripts as well as numerous other inscriptions and artifacts of archaeological and historical importance.

Internet Sacred Text Archive
Although in some cases I would debate the word "sacred", this collection of ancient texts by J.B. Hare is well worth a peek; everything from the first 1000 lines of human DNA code to Neo-paganism. No commentaries, just the texts, which is very nice indeed.

Leuven Database of Ancient Books
The Leuven database is an attempt to collect the basic information on all ancient writing, dating from the fourth century B.C. to A.D. 800 and incorporating authors from Homer (8th cent. B.C.) to Romanus Melodus (6th cent. A.D.).

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