Then we came to the United States; now we speak English, though always not the pure tongue Schmandt-Besserat's present interest is the cognitive aspects of the token system that functioned as an extension of the human brain to collect, manipulate, store and retrieve data.
When the University of Texas at Austin professor began her academic career in the s, at issue was not "Where did writing come from?
It replaced an age-old token system that had preceded it for over years; it was replaced by the alphabet, which we have now used for years. Otherwise, the token system represented plurality concretely, in one-to-one correspondence.
For example, sheep could be accounted independently of their actual location. From the very first, Schmandt-Besserat says she has always felt completely comfortable and happy there. She studies how processing an increasing volume of data over thousands of years brought people to think in greater abstraction.
Finally, when the last clay tablet was written in the Near East, c. In a way it is just like writing. These markings were the first signs of writing. In one of several frustrated attempts to classify the tokens, the University of Pennsylvania's Carleton S.
The verb was not transcribed, but inferred, which was easy because the name was common.
Writing Systems, A Linguistic Approach. Schmandt-Besserat's innovation in conjunction with academia's resistance to the new has led to the occasional quarrel. The evolution from tokens to script also documents a steady progression in abstracting data, from one-to-one correspondence with three-dimensional tangible tokens, to two-dimensional pictures, the invention of abstract numbers and phonetic syllabic signs and finally, in the second millennium BC, the ultimate abstraction of sound and meaning with the representation of phonemes by the letters of the alphabet.
Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. She had thus explained why so many pictographs looked so little like the things they were supposed to represent. The only thing even resembling a problem, she says, was early on when Arab men, shocked at seeing a young woman alone, would try too strenuously to protect her.
They consisted of ivory labels and ceremonial artifacts such as maces and palettes bearing personal names, written phonetically as a rebus, visibly imitating Sumer.
Her book, How Writing Came About, was listed by American Scientist as one of the books that shaped science in the 20th century. In turn, the Sumerian cuneiform syllabic script was adopted by many Near Eastern cultures who adapted it to their different linguistic families and in particular, Semitic Akkadians and Eblaites ; Indo-European Mitanni, Hittites, and Persians ; Caucasian Hurrians and Urartians ; and finally, Elamite and Kassite.
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Unlike speech, tokens were restricted to one type of information only, namely, real goods. The most striking universal feature of all writing systems, however, is their uncanny endurance, unmatched among human creations.
Inscribing a name on the funerary vessel then served to make the ancestor immortal in the same way the name's chanting had previously.Denise Schmandt-Besserat (born August 10, in Ay, Marne, France) is a French-American archaeologist and retired professor of art and archaeology of the ancient Near dfaduke.com spent much of her professional career as a professor at the University of Texas.
Schmandt-Besserat Denise Schmandt-Besserat (born August 10, in Ay, Marne, France) is a French-American archaeologist and retired professor of art and archaeology of the ancient Near East.
She spent much of her professional career as a professor at the University of Texas. Schmandt-Besserat studies the art and archaeology of the ancient Near East. Her research has focused on the origin of writing and counting, and her published works include: Before Writing (), How Writing Came About (), The History of Counting (), and When Writing Met Art ().
Denise Schmandt-Besserat presents a system of counters (tokens) that appea It points out that when writing began in Mesopotamia it was not, as previously thought, a sudden and spontaneous invention.
Instead, it was the outgrowth of many thousands of years' worth of experience at manipulating symbols/5. Writing – a system of graphic marks representing the units of a specific language – has been invented independently in the Near East, China and Mesoamerica.
The cuneiform script, created in Mesopotamia, present-day Iraq, ca. BC, was first.
It is also the only writing system which can be traced to its earliest prehistoric origin. Professor Emerita Denise Schmandt-Besserat with a falcon in Ryadh, Saudi Arabia, In When Writing Met Art (), Denise Schmandt-Besserat investigated the impact of literacy on visual art.
She showed that, before writing, art in the ancient Near East mostly consisted of repetitive motifs.Download