How Writing Came about
Denise Schmandt-Besserat (Author)
University of Texas Press
January 01, 1997
7.0 X 0.5 X 10.0 inches | 0.8 pounds
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About the Author
DENISE SCHMANDT-BESSERAT is Professor Emerita of Art and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work on the origins of writing has been covered by Scientific American, Time, Life, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Christian Science Monitor, among other publications. She has also appeared on television programs such as Out of the Past (Discovery Channel), Discover (Disney Channel), The Nature of Things (CBC), Search for Solutions (PBS), and Tell the Truth (NBC).
Discoveries in the history of writing are rare, but Denise Schmandt-Besserat made one in realizing that phonetic writing in the West descends not from pictography, a view repeated everywhere, but from abstract, nonphonetic, mostly noniconographic accounting tokens used in Neolithic farming communities of the Near East beginning from about 8000 B.C. A condensation of volume I of Before Writing ...this book is a perfect production, utterly lucid, thoughtfully illustrated, and thoroughly convincing.