¿Qué sistema de escritura no descifrado tiene el mayor corpus de texto?

¿Qué sistema de escritura no descifrado tiene el mayor corpus de texto?



We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Docenas de sistemas de escritura antiguos aún no se han descifrado. Mi pregunta es: ¿Cuál de ellos tiene el mayor número de inscripciones conocidas? (y, por lo tanto, podría ser más accesible para el desciframiento futuro, aunque eso es no parte de mi pregunta)?

Por ejemplo, el Disco de Festos, cuya inscripción se encuentra en un sistema de escritura desconocido, tiene solo 241 símbolos en total, y no se conocen otros especímenes de ese sistema de escritura.

Por otro lado, a principios del siglo XIX, tanto los jeroglíficos cuneiformes acadios como los egipcios, para cada uno de los cuales se conocían miles de inscripciones que comprenden millones de fichas, aún estaban sin descifrar (por supuesto, ambos han sido descifrados desde entonces).


Esa es una pregunta muy interesante, y el resultado no solo evoluciona cuando se descifra un texto, sino también cuando se encuentran nuevas inscripciones.

Por lo tanto, aunque solo se encontró una tableta fuera de Creta antes de 1973, diría que la respuesta a su pregunta es Lineal A: hay 1427 documentos Linear A con una ocurrencia total de 7362-7396 signos.

La A lineal es una escritura religiosa de la civilización minoica. Se cree que es el origen del Lineal B, la forma escrita más antigua del griego escrito, utilizada hasta la llegada del alfabeto. La principal diferencia con Linear B es que

  • El lineal A no se descifra mientras que el lineal B sí lo es.
  • Si Lineal A se pronuncia de manera similar a Linear B, entonces es poco probable que sea griego y, de hecho, podría ser un idioma con diferentes orígenes (posiblemente semita).

Doy esta respuesta considerando que, al contrario de Maya, dado anteriormente, Linear A está completamente sin descifrar, mientras que la escritura maya está realmente descifrada, aunque muchas inscripciones siguen siendo un misterio.

Por supuesto, debe tener en cuenta que Linear A puede responder a su pregunta solo porque se realizaron muchas búsquedas en la antigua Grecia (lo mismo ocurre con Egipto, por ejemplo), mientras que podría haber alguna escritura desconocida, o una para la que solo se usaron unas pocas tabletas. encontrado, para lo cual, después de todo, podríamos encontrar un corpus mucho más grande. Soy consciente de que preguntaste sobre el mayor conocido corpus de texto, y solo quiero decir que es posible que tengas mayores posibilidades de descifrar un lenguaje de escritura misterioso si buscas más inscripciones de él, que las que tendrías al estudiar el guión que tiene el mayor corpus de texto.


Probablemente las escrituras e inscripciones mayas son el conjunto más grande de escrituras sin título con la mayor importancia histórica.

Además, no asuma alegremente que los antiguos jeroglíficos egipcios se comprenden bien. Muchas de las "traducciones" de los jeroglíficos, especialmente las que se encuentran en las tumbas reales, son muy conjeturas y no podemos estar realmente seguros de lo que dicen.


¿Qué sistema de escritura no descifrado tiene el mayor corpus de texto? - Historia

La complejidad es probablemente la característica más importante de los sistemas de escritura antiguos para que los estudiantes la confronten. El tema de la complejidad es importante no solo para comprender la escritura en sí, sino también para comprender cómo los primeros sistemas de escritura afectaron el nivel de alfabetización en una sociedad, el estatus social de quienes podían escribir y, en tiempos más recientes, el desciframiento de esos sistemas de escritura.

El hombre decae, su cadáver es polvo,
Todos sus parientes han perecido:
Pero un libro lo hace recordar
A través de la boca del recitador.
Mejor es un libro que una casa bien construida,
Que las capillas de las tumbas en el oeste
Mejor que una mansión sólida
¡Que una estela en el templo! 10

La flexibilidad de los sistemas de escritura antiguos.

La Lingua Franca de Relaciones Internacionales y Comercio

Las interacciones transculturales requieren comunicación y, por lo tanto, siempre han dependido hasta cierto punto del lenguaje y la escritura. En diferentes momentos de la historia, las lenguas individuales han dominado estas interacciones, hecho que ha dado lugar a la frase "lingua franca". 18 La escritura, como medio del lenguaje hablado, ha jugado un papel igualmente importante, aunque quizás menos celebrado, en la historia de estas interacciones. Si bien la comunicación verbal era claramente fundamental para la interacción intercultural entre personas de diferentes clases y niveles de alfabetización, algunas interacciones no podrían haberse realizado con confianza sin la ayuda de la escritura. Los comerciantes necesitaban registrar los detalles específicos de las transacciones económicas que los funcionarios gubernamentales necesitaban para registrar los diversos elementos de los tratados que los monjes necesitaban para copiar y preservar los textos sagrados y todas estas acciones dependían de la escritura.

El desciframiento de la escritura antigua

Muchos de los sistemas de escritura que dominaban el mundo del antiguo escriba cayeron en desuso mucho antes de los tiempos modernos. Las lenguas antiguas murieron y, como resultado, se abandonaron los sistemas de escritura que se habían desarrollado para transmitirlas. Uno de los aspectos más interesantes de la historia de los sistemas de escritura antiguos es cómo se han recuperado estos sistemas de escritura perdidos. La clave para entender esta historia es reconocer el importante desafío que estos sistemas de escritura plantean a los posibles descifradores.

En muchos casos, la disponibilidad de textos bilingües o trilingües que proporcionan al descifrador un texto en múltiples escrituras e idiomas, algunos conocidos y otros desconocidos, ha sido fundamental para el desciframiento de sistemas de escritura desconocidos. La piedra de Rosetta es quizás el ejemplo más familiar. Contiene una inscripción alabando al faraón Ptolomeo V, de trece años, y la misma inscripción se presenta en dos versiones del egipcio (una en jeroglíficos, la otra en demótico, una forma simplificada de la escritura) y en griego. La última línea de la inscripción griega, y de las otras inscripciones que resultó, se traduce de la siguiente manera: "Este decreto se inscribirá en una estela de piedra dura en caracteres sagrados, nativos y griegos y se colocará en cada uno de los primeros, segundos y templos de tercer rango junto a la imagen del rey eterno ". 36 Los eruditos rara vez tienen tanta suerte, pero los que trabajan en la Piedra Rosetta sabían por esta línea que la piedra ofrecía la promesa de desvelar el misterio de los jeroglíficos debido a la relación declarada entre los textos de la inscripción.

Conclusión

La escritura es un desarrollo reciente en la historia de la humanidad. Muchos comportamientos distintivamente humanos, como el entierro de los muertos, la creación de arte y el control y uso del fuego, todos los cuales se desarrollaron en el Paleolítico, tienen raíces mucho más profundas en la historia de la humanidad. La agricultura y un estilo de vida sedentario, si bien son desarrollos más recientes, todavía se pueden ubicar en el Neolítico, que se originó hace unos diez o doce mil años. Por el contrario, las formas de escritura más antiguas son mucho más recientes, ya que se originaron hace solo unos cinco mil años en Asia occidental y Egipto. El desarrollo de la escritura en otras partes del mundo tuvo lugar incluso más recientemente. Por tanto, la escritura es un nuevo comportamiento humano, que ha aparecido muy recientemente en términos evolutivos.

Nota biográfica: David Burzillo es profesor de historia mundial en la Rivers School de Weston, Massachusetts.

Notas

El autor agradece los comentarios de sus colegas Cathy Favreau, Jennie Jacoby, Jack Jarzavek y Ben Leeming.

1 Al principio, debe quedar claro a los estudiantes que el lenguaje y la escritura no son lo mismo y se desarrollaron en diferentes momentos de la historia de la humanidad. Los jeroglíficos y la escritura cuneiforme, que se analizarán más adelante en este artículo, son sistemas de escritura utilizados para una variedad de idiomas, pero no son en sí mismos idiomas.

2 Aunque no es posible decir cuándo los humanos comenzaron la comunicación no verbal, los grupos humanos claramente necesitaban esta habilidad muy temprano en su historia para poder cazar y sobrevivir en un entorno grupal. El habla es un desarrollo más reciente. La evidencia actual sugiere que los humanos eran físicamente capaces de hablar hace unos cincuenta mil años. La escritura se utilizó por primera vez hace aproximadamente cinco mil años.

3 Según los informes del censo de EE. UU., El inglés es el idioma que se habla en el hogar para el 81,5 por ciento de los 53 millones de niños en edad escolar del país. Para el 12,8 por ciento del resto, el español es el idioma principal que se habla en casa. Oficina del Censo de Estados Unidos, "Tabla 2. Uso del idioma, habilidad en inglés y aislamiento lingüístico para la población de 5 a 17 años por estado: 2000", Cuadros resumidos sobre el uso del idioma y la capacidad del inglés: 2000 , http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/phc-t20.html (consultado el 25 de noviembre de 2003).

4 Los lingüistas definen un fonema como la unidad más pequeña de sonido distintivo en un idioma. Definen un morfema como la unidad de habla significativa más pequeña, que consta de uno o más fonemas.

5 Si bien los académicos han reconocido la dificultad de valorar con seguridad el nivel de alfabetización en las sociedades antiguas, no necesariamente han visto la complejidad de los sistemas de escritura antiguos, en sí mismos, como un límite a la medida en que la alfabetización podía penetrar una sociedad. Según Herman Vanstiphout, "En cualquier caso, la relativa complejidad del sistema de escritura habrá tenido poco o nada que ver con la difusión de la alfabetización. Japón tiene el grado más alto de alfabetización con mucho en comparación con otros gigantes industriales, que demuestra que la alfabetización depende mucho más de las prioridades políticas y sociales de una nación que de las complejidades del guión "(" Memory and Literacy in Ancient Western Asia ", en Civilizaciones del Antiguo Cercano Oriente, vol. 4, ed. Jack M. Sasson [Nueva York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1995], 2188-89). Para la discusión sobre el entrenamiento de escribas, vea el capítulo tres de C. B. F. Walker, Leyendo el pasado: cuneiforme (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989) capítulo uno de Samuel Noah Kramer, La historia comienza en Sumer (Garden City: Anchor Doubleday, 1959) Capítulo cinco de A. Leo Oppenheim, Mesopotamia antigua: retrato de una civilización muerta (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977) y el capítulo cinco de H. W. F. Saggs, Civilización antes de Grecia y Roma (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989).

6 Saggs relata la historia del rey Shulgi de Ur III, quien instruyó a sus escribas que leyeran sus himnos a los cantantes para que pudieran interpretarlos (Civilización antes de Grecia y Roma, 104-105). J. Nicholas Postgate concluye que antes de la introducción de un alfabeto, "la alfabetización seguramente alcanzó su punto máximo en la época de la antigua Babilonia ... tanto en la variedad de roles que desempeñaba como, uno sospecha, en la cantidad de personas que podían leer y escribir "(Mesopotamia temprana: sociedad y economía en los albores de la historia [Londres: Routledge, 1994], 69). Barry J. Kemp ha escrito que el Antiguo Reino de Egipto se dividió en tres clases: "los hombres alfabetizados que ejercen una autoridad derivada del rey, los subordinados a ellos (porteros, soldados, canteros, etc.) y los campesinos analfabetos" ("Old Reino, Reino Medio y Segundo Período Intermedio C. 2686-1552 AC, "en Antiguo Egipto: una historia social, ed. Bruce G. Trigger, Barry J. Kemp, David O'Connor y Alan Lloyd [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996], 81).

7 Cabe señalar que estos documentos fueron escritos por los propios escribas, por lo que es evidente que existe un sesgo significativo en ellos.

8 Miriam Lichtheim, Literatura egipcia antigua, vol. 2 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976), 170.

9 Véase Kramer, La historia comienza en Sumer, 1-16, para obtener material sobre la visión sumeria de la educación y los escribas.

10 Lichtheim, Literatura egipcia antigua, 177. Se pueden encontrar fuentes primarias adicionales sobre los escribas egipcios en James B. Pritchard, ed., Textos del Cercano Oriente relacionados con el Antiguo Testamento (Princeton, Nueva Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1969), 431-34.

11 La forma en que damos sentido al origen de la escritura es similar a la forma en que tratamos temas similares relacionados con el desarrollo de la agricultura. La evidencia disponible sugiere que la agricultura se inventó de forma independiente en al menos siete de las regiones del mundo y se difundió a partir de ellas. En cada una de estas siete regiones se domesticaron una combinación específica de animales y cultivos. Ver Bruce Smith, El surgimiento de la agricultura (Nueva York: Scientific American Library, 1995). Véase también C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky y Jeremy Sabloff, Civilizaciones antiguas: Oriente Próximo y Mesoamérica (Prospect Heights, Ill .: Waveland Press, 1995), 60. Con respecto a la escritura, los asiólogos han tendido a apoyar la idea de una influencia mesopotámica en el desarrollo de la escritura egipcia, dada la evidencia de otras influencias interculturales que precedieron a la desarrollo de la escritura en Egipto. Véase Henri Frankfort, El nacimiento de la civilización en el Cercano Oriente (Nueva York: Doubleday Anchor, 1956), 129-32 Saggs, Civilización antes de Grecia y Roma, 72 y Postgate, Mesopotamia temprana, 56. Lamberg-Karlovsky y Sabloff adoptan la posición de que "la escritura puede haber evolucionado independientemente en ambas áreas como resultado de la convergencia de una evolución paralela" (Civilizaciones antiguas, 134). Un breve resumen del debate sobre la relación entre los jeroglíficos y la escritura cuneiforme se puede encontrar en Trigger, Kemp, O'Connor y Lloyd, Antiguo Egipto, 37-38.

12 Los historiadores generalmente han considerado que el sumerio y el egipcio se desarrollaron aproximadamente al mismo tiempo, y que al sumerio generalmente se le da una ligera ventaja. Los descubrimientos recientes en Egipto han hecho que muchos revisen esto, y algunos egiptólogos han sugerido que los jeroglifos son anteriores a la escritura cuneiforme. En los últimos años ha aparecido mucho en la prensa sobre el tema. Véase John Noble Wilford, "La talla de un rey podría reescribir la historia", New York Times, 16 de abril de 2002 Elizabeth J. Himelfarb, "Primer alfabeto encontrado en Egipto", Arqueología, Enero / febrero de 2000, 21 Larkin Mitchell, "Primeros glifos egipcios", Arqueología, Marzo / abril de 1999, 28-29 y Vijay Joshi, "Tablas antiguas muestran que los egipcios pueden haber sido los primeros en escribir", Boston Globe, 18 de diciembre de 1998.

13 La familia de lenguas semíticas tiene dos ramas principales, la semítica oriental y la semítica occidental. El acadio se considera parte de la rama semítica oriental de la familia, que también incluye los dialectos acadios de babilónico y asirio. La rama semítica occidental incluye muchos más idiomas, incluidos el hebreo y el árabe, con los que algunos estudiantes pueden estar familiarizados.

14 John King Fairbank, China: una nueva historia (Cambridge, Mass .: Harvard University Press, 1994), 42-43.

15 Joshua Fogel escribe sobre el coreano: "El hecho mismo de que los coreanos, un país culturalmente avanzado en numerosos aspectos, no desarrollaron un alfabeto propio (hangul) hasta el siglo XV, más de un milenio después de adoptar el chino, dice mucho sobre el lugar de honor de la lengua escrita china en sus vidas "(" The Sinic World ", en Asia en la historia occidental y mundial, ed. Ainslee Embree y Carol Gluck [Armonk, Nueva York: M. E. Sharpe, 1997], 684). Fogel también analiza la importancia de las ideas e instituciones religiosas, culturales y políticas que llegaron a cada uno de estos países como resultado de la adopción de caracteres chinos, conexiones que ayudaron a unificar el este de Asia.

16 Edwin Reischauer ha descrito la situación antes de que los japoneses llevaran a cabo la reforma del guión de esta manera: "El gran avance cultural en Japón durante estos siglos es tanto más notable por haberse logrado a través de un tipo de idioma completamente diferente y una extraordinaria dificultad. sistema de escritura "(El japones [Cambridge, Mass .: Belknap Press, 1977], 47).

17 Además de los ejemplos citados aquí, hay otros ejemplos quizás más familiares disponibles, incluido el préstamo del alfabeto fenicio por parte de los griegos. Además, el alfabeto latino fue tomado de los griegos, quizás por medio de los etruscos.

18 El primer uso de la frase "lingua franca", según la Diccionario de inglés antiguo de Oxford, es de John Dryden. Los otros ejemplos proporcionados provienen de ambos contextos mediterráneos.

19 Dada la publicidad reciente sobre la película de Mel Gibson La pasión de Cristo, muchos estudiantes pueden conocer la existencia del arameo. Este idioma reemplazó al acadio como lengua franca de Asia occidental y, a su vez, fue reemplazado más tarde por el árabe.

20 Para una breve descripción de los textos de Amarna, véase Barbara Ross, "Correspondence in Clay", Mundo Aramco, Noviembre / diciembre de 1999, 30-35.

21 Shlomo, Izre'el, "Las cartas de Amarna desde Canaán", en Sasson, Civilizaciones del Antiguo Cercano Oriente., vol. 4, 2412.

22 Cuatro cartas del archivo de Mari y veintiocho cartas de la correspondencia de Amarna se reproducen en Pritchard, Textos del Antiguo Cercano Oriente relacionados con el Antiguo Testamento.

23 Saggs, Civilización antes de Grecia y Roma, 182.

24 Saggs, Civilización antes de Grecia y Roma, 184.

25 Ross, "Correspondence in Clay", 31-32.

26 C. W. Ceram, Dioses, tumbas y eruditos: la historia de la arqueología (Nueva York: Bantam Books, 1972). Aunque escrito originalmente en 1949, este libro ha sido reeditado y es muy accesible para los estudiantes de secundaria. Ceram describe en detalle el desciframiento de la escritura cuneiforme y los jeroglíficos.

27 Para Lineal B, véase John Chadwick, El desciframiento del lineal B (Londres: Cambridge University Press, 1990) y Andrew Robinson, El hombre que descifró Lineal B: La historia de Michael Ventris (Londres: Thames y Hudson, 2002). Para mayas, ver Michael Coe, Rompiendo el Código Maya (Londres: Thames and Hudson, 1999) y "Un triunfo del espíritu: cómo Yuri Knorosov descifró el código jeroglífico maya desde el lejano Leningrado", Arqueología, Septiembre / octubre de 1991, 33-44 y David Roberts, "The Decipherment of Ancient Maya",El Atlántico, Septiembre de 1991, 87-100.

28 Véase Andrew Robinson, Idiomas perdidos: el enigma de las escrituras no descifradas del mundo (Nueva York: McGraw Hill, 2002). Robinson dedica capítulos al pensamiento actual sobre los guiones no descifrados de Meroitic, Linear A, Etruscan, Proto-Elamite y Rongorongo.

29 Samuel Noah Kramer, Los sumerios: su historia, cultura y carácter (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963), 19-26.

30 Véase Michael Coe, Los mayas (Londres: Thames y Hudson, 1999).

31 Peter Daniels, "El desciframiento de las escrituras del antiguo Cercano Oriente", en Sasson, Civilizaciones del Antiguo Cercano Oriente, vol. 1, 82.

32 Con referencia al asirio, Daniels informa, "La interpretación del sumerio resultó ser el trabajo de muchas décadas, durante las cuales surgió una seria controversia sobre si era o no un idioma real o un código ideado por sacerdotes asirios para ocultar lo sagrado". misterios "(" El desciframiento de las escrituras del antiguo Cercano Oriente ", pág. 86). Coe cita actitudes similares entre los mayas de mediados del siglo XX, como Richard Long y Paul Schellhas, quienes dudaban de que los glifos mayas representaran el lenguaje (Rompiendo el Código Maya, 137-44).

33 Maurice Pope, La historia del desciframiento arqueológico: de los hieorglyphics egipcios al lineal B (Nueva York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977), 186.

34 Ver Papa, La historia del desciframiento arqueológico, y Coe, Rompiendo el Código Maya.

35 Véase Coe, Rompiendo el Código Maya, 43-44, para un buen resumen de éste y otros temas generales relacionados con el desciframiento. Véase también la introducción de Robinson a Idiomas perdidos, esp. 40-43 y Chadwick, El desciframiento del lineal B, 41-43.

36 Stephen Quirke y Carol Andrews, La piedra de Rosetta: dibujo facsímil con introducción y traducciones (Londres: Publicaciones del Museo Británico, 1988).

37 La transcripción de Rawlinson implicaba un gran riesgo, ya que la inscripción se hizo en el lado de un acantilado de roca a unos 340 pies sobre el suelo. George Cameron, de la Universidad de Michigan, estudió la inscripción e hizo moldes de látex en 1948. Su trabajo y muchas fotografías de primer plano de su estudio se pueden encontrar en George Cameron, "Darius Carved History on Ageless Rock", National Geographic, Diciembre de 1950, 825-44.

38 Papa, La historia del desciframiento arqueológico, 162. Los desciframientos de Ugaritic y Linear B no siguieron este patrón.

39 La identificación de palabras individuales en un sistema de escritura desconocido puede ser un paso importante en la traducción del idioma detrás de él, pero no siempre garantiza que el desciframiento seguirá. Etruscan es un buen ejemplo de este hecho. Debido a que el alfabeto etusco está relacionado con el alfabeto griego, las palabras etruscas se pueden leer, incluidos muchos nombres personales. Pero debido a los tipos de textos disponibles, en su mayoría funerarios, y la extensión de los textos disponibles, los académicos no han podido pasar de este nivel muy básico de comprensión de las palabras a una comprensión del idioma en su totalidad.

40 Papa, La historia del desciframiento arqueológico, 189.

41 Pope escribe sobre este método, "Pero lo que hizo que el desciframiento Lineal B fuera único y atrapó la imaginación del mundo fue la cuadrícula fonética abstracta iniciada por Kober y muy extendida por Ventris. Su efecto fue definir el empleo de los signos silábicos más de cerca que antes. En lugar de decir "firmar X representa una sílaba 'se hizo posible decir' signo X representa una sílaba que comparte un elemento con la sílaba representada por el signo y. Así que las reglas de escritura se conocían con mayor precisión, y esto compensaba la pequeñez e imprecisión del área objetivo "(La historia del desciframiento arqueológico, 188).

42 Consulte los sitios web sugeridos al final del artículo para ver ejemplos.

43 En al menos un caso, el de los micénicos, el corpus de documentos existente tiene un enfoque completamente administrativo. Dado que la mayoría de los estudiantes probablemente asociarán a Homero y su Ilíada y Odisea con los micénicos, probablemente valdría la pena recordarles a los estudiantes que Lineal B no era el griego de Homero, y que las obras de Homero no son ejemplos de la literatura micénica.

44 Por ejemplo, Paul Halsall mantiene una gran cantidad de excelentes sitios web con documentos de fuentes primarias descargables relacionados con muchos períodos y temas históricos. La dirección de su Libro de consulta de historia antigua es http://www.fordham.edu/halsall ancient / asbook.html.

45 Véase Kramer, La historia comienza en Sumer, 1-16.

46 Pope deja en claro que Thomas Young estaba muy celoso de Champollion y que ambos criticaron su método y se atribuyeron el mérito de sus ideas (La historia del desciframiento arqueológico66-68, 84). Esto se debió ciertamente en parte al hecho de que Champollion obtuvo el crédito por el avance que Young afirmó, por lo que tenía un aspecto personal. Sin embargo, no me sorprendería, tras las guerras napoleónicas y la competencia anglo-francesa en Asia, que algunos de los celos que sentía Young se debieran al hecho de que un francés y no un inglés fue el responsable del desciframiento.

Lectura sugerida

Ceram, C.W. Dioses, tumbas y eruditos: la historia de la arqueología. Nueva York: Bantam Books, 1972. Las secciones sobre el desciframiento de jeroglíficos y cuneiformes son muy accesibles para los estudiantes de secundaria.

Chadwick, John. El desciframiento del lineal B. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Chadwick, que trabajó con Michael Ventris, escribió este breve relato para el lector general.

Chadwick, John. Leyendo el pasado: lineal B y scripts relacionados. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997. Cada volumen de la serie Reading the Past contiene una encuesta de aproximadamente sesenta páginas sobre el tema con excelentes descripciones e ilustraciones. Consulte Davies y Walker a continuación para ver otros volúmenes de esta serie.

Coe, Michael. Rompiendo el Código Maya. Londres: Thames y Hudson, 1999. Una excelente historia del desciframiento de la escritura maya.

Davies, W.V. Leyendo el pasado: jeroglíficos egipcios. Berkeley: Prensa de la Universidad de California, 1987.

Erman, Adolf ed. Los antiguos egipcios: un libro de consulta de sus escritos. Nueva York:

Harper Torchbooks, 1966. Contiene algunas fuentes primarias sobre educación en New Kingdom Egypt.

Friedrich, Johannes. Idiomas extintos. Nueva York: Philosophical Library, 1957. Un tratamiento muy legible del desciframiento y las escrituras antiguas. Este libro estaba en imprenta cuando el autor se enteró del trabajo de Ventris, por lo que se agregó un apéndice sobre Linear B.

Oppenheim, A. Leo. Mesopotamia antigua: retrato de una civilización muerta. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977. Contiene buenas secciones sobre escritura y escribas.

Papa, Mauricio. La historia del desciframiento: de los jeroglíficos egipcios al lineal B. Nueva York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1975. Coe llama a este "el mejor libro general sobre desciframiento".

Postgate, J. Nicholas. Mesopotamia antigua: sociedad y economía en los albores de la historia. Londres: Routledge, 1995. Sección sobre la evolución de la escritura en Mesopotamia.

Robinson, Andrew. Idiomas perdidos: el enigma de los guiones no descifrados del mundo. Nueva York: McGraw Hill, 2002. Robinson ha escrito muchos libros sobre escritura y lenguaje. También publicó una biografía de Michael Ventris en 2002.

Saggs, H.W. F. Civilización antes de Grecia y Roma. New Haven: Yale, 1989. Capítulos sobre escritura y educación.

Sasson, Jack ed. Civilizaciones del Antiguo Cercano Oriente. Volúmenes 1-4. Nueva York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1995. El volumen 1 contiene una sección sobre el desciframiento de Peter Daniels. El volumen 4 contiene una sección dedicada al lenguaje, la escritura y la literatura, con contribuciones de Denise Schmandt-Bessarat, D.O. Edzard, John Huehnegard, Edward Wente y Laurie Pearce. Se pueden encontrar muchos artículos valiosos en este trabajo de referencia.

Von Soden, Wolfram. El Antiguo Oriente: Introducción al estudio del Antiguo Cercano Oriente. Grand Rapids: William B. Erdmans, 1994. Capítulo sobre escritura y sistemas de escritura.

Walker, CBF. Leyendo el pasado: cuneiforme. Berkeley: Prensa de la Universidad de California, 1989.


Oracle Bones y escribiendo el futuro en la dinastía Shang

Como se informó anteriormente en un artículo de Ancient Origins, los huesos de oráculo son un tipo de artefacto mejor conocido por su asociación con la dinastía Shang de la antigua China (1600-1046 aC). Como estos artefactos se usaron con el propósito de adivinar, los huesos pasaron a llamarse "huesos de oráculo". Además de proporcionarnos información sobre las creencias de la gente de la dinastía Shang, los huesos del oráculo también son importantes, ya que forman el cuerpo principal más antiguo conocido de la escritura china antigua.

El principal hueso animal que se utilizó para crear los huesos del oráculo fue la escápula o el omóplato. Los bueyes parecen ser el animal preferido, ya que el registro arqueológico ha arrojado una gran cantidad de huesos de oráculo que se hicieron a partir del omóplato de este animal. Sin embargo, también se han encontrado huesos de oráculo que fueron hechos de los omóplatos de ciervos, ovejas y cerdos. En cuanto al segundo material, se utilizó el plastrón (la parte inferior casi plana de la tortuga). El caparazón (el caparazón superior convexo de la tortuga) no era adecuado para hacer huesos de oráculo, ya que era mucho más difícil escribir en su superficie curva.

Las inscripciones de los huesos del oráculo fueron descubiertas por primera vez en 1899 por el académico y anticuario Wang Yirong en Beijing, aunque un grupo de agricultores de Anyang desenterró artefactos mucho antes que el profesor. Durante el siglo XX, se han encontrado miles de huesos de oráculo. Varios estudios sobre los huesos del oráculo han demostrado la forma en que la escritura china se desarrolló con el tiempo, arrojando luz sobre las prácticas adivinatorias de la dinastía Shang.

El proceso de adivinar el futuro con la ayuda de huesos de oráculo normalmente comenzaría con una pregunta hecha por un cliente. Estas preguntas involucraron una amplia gama de temas, incluidos problemas meteorológicos, agrícolas y militares. El adivino luego usaría una herramienta afilada para escribir la pregunta en el hueso / caparazón, después de lo cual se perforaría un agujero / agujeros en él. Luego, el hueso del oráculo se colocaría bajo un calor intenso hasta que se produjeran grietas. Finalmente, estos cracks fueron interpretados por los adivinos para sus clientes.


Fuentes de datos y métodos

Los signos observados en este trabajo hacen referencia a varios autores (Mahadevan, 1977 Parpola, 1986, 1994 Wells, 1998), CISI (Joshi y Parpola, 1987 Parpola et al., 2010 Shah y Parpola, 1991) y el conjunto de datos del ICIT. El conjunto de datos en el que nos centramos fue seleccionado y verificado de dos formas. Primero, a mano (usando listas de signos de otros autores y CISI), y segundo, usando la base de datos ICIT como recurso. Cada signo de los sellos en cuestión se almacenó en una base de datos de MongoDB. Los signos en los que nos enfocamos para simétricos / asimétricos fueron un campo primario que nos permitió enfocarnos en su relación con otros signos en el sello y sellos similares. Se almacenaron los siguientes atributos para cada sello: identificación CISI, número de letrero, ubicación, otros letreros en el sello, longitud del sello y una bandera para indicar si se trataba de un sello de varias líneas. Cada sello se almacena como un documento que tiene las propiedades antes mencionadas. A diferencia de las bases de datos tradicionales, la base de datos MongoDB permite realizar múltiples correlaciones con un signo y también permite un análisis más fácil. Cada una de las frecuencias enumeradas en este trabajo se tabula fácilmente consultando el conjunto de datos. Esta configuración de base de datos podría expandirse en el futuro para analizar más a fondo las focas con símbolos de animales.


Civilizaciones antiguas y escritura temprana

La escritura evolucionó de forma independiente en varias regiones, como el Cercano Oriente, China, el Valle del Indo y América Central. Los sistemas de escritura que surgieron en cada una de estas regiones son diferentes y no se influyeron entre sí. El sistema de escritura más antiguo conocido fue el cuneiforme en Mesopotamia, que se remonta al 3100 a. C.

¿Por qué se inventó la escritura? Quizás la respuesta se pueda encontrar en los primeros mensajes escritos. En la mayoría de los lugares donde la escritura se desarrolló de forma independiente, los documentos más antiguos que quedan son las etiquetas y las listas, o los nombres de los gobernantes. En general, algunos eran mucho más ricos que otros en las sociedades que producían estos documentos y el poder se concentraba en manos de pequeños grupos. Por lo tanto, se supone que la escritura se inventó ya que los miembros de estos grupos tuvieron que organizar la distribución de bienes y personas para mantener el control sobre ambos.

En muchas sociedades, la escritura también se inventó con otros fines. Por ejemplo, en la antigua Mesopotamia se escribían contratos y otros documentos comerciales, cartas, leyes, rituales religiosos e incluso obras literarias. Por otro lado, en Centroamérica la escritura se limitó durante mucho tiempo a inscripciones en monumentos relacionados con la monarquía. En estas sociedades donde la escritura estaba restringida a un pequeño grupo dominante, en realidad había muy pocas personas que supieran leer y escribir.

Escritura Logográfica

Dependiendo de cómo funcionen, los sistemas de escritura se clasifican en logográficos, silábicos o alfabéticos. En ocasiones, algunos sistemas utilizan más de uno de estos al mismo tiempo. Por ejemplo, los antiguos egipcios usaban los tres sistemas simultáneamente. En los sistemas de escritura logográfica, cada símbolo representa una palabra. En muchos de estos sistemas, los determinantes gramaticales se agregan a los símbolos básicos, estos son símbolos especiales que indican cambios semánticos o gramaticales, como formas compuestas o plurales de palabras. La dificultad más obvia de este sistema de escritura es la enorme cantidad de símbolos necesarios para expresar cada palabra. El sistema de escritura chino utiliza alrededor de 50.000 caracteres, aunque no todos son de uso común. Esto explica por qué no es sorprendente que muy pocas personas supieran leer y escribir en la China imperial. Incluso en los tiempos modernos, se necesitaron varias décadas para crear una máquina de escribir en idioma chino.

Escritura silábica

Los sistemas de escritura silábica usan símbolos para representar sílabas. Many early writing systems were syllabic: Assyrian and Babylonian cuneiform in the Near East, the two writing systems of pre-classical Greece, Japanese kana, and the ancient Mayan writing of Central America.

Babylonian cuneiform is a good example of how syllabic writing was used and developed. It first developed from Sumerian logographic writing, and both were written by imprinting wedge-shaped marks on wet clay tablets. They would put syllabic signs one after the other to form words.

Cuneiform syllabic writing was used for a long time in the ancient Near East, where it was in use between the years 3,100 and 100 BC. It was used to write other languages as well as Akkadian, such as Hittite and Elamite.

Babylonian cuneiform has around 600 symbols, although many of them are used for their different syllabic values.

Alphabetic Writing

Most modern languages use alphabetic writing systems where each symbol represents a basic sound. Spanish and most modern European languages are written with alphabets that come from the Latin alphabet. The great advantage of alphabetical systems is that far fewer symbols need to be learned than in logographic or syllabic systems, as most alphabets feature fewer than 30 characters.

It’s rather ironic, but it’s possible that the invention of the first alphabet was inspired by the ancient Egyptian script, one of the most complex writing systems ever invented. Egyptian hieroglyphs combined logographic, syllabic, and alphabetic symbols. In the middle of the second millennium BC, communities living in the Sinai Peninsula discovered that all of the sounds of their language could be expressed using a small number of alphabetic symbols.

It’s likely that the alphabetic systems descended from the original Sinai script were widely used throughout the Levant until 1150 BC. However, as this type of script was mostly written on perishable materials like parchment and papyrus, very few original materials remain. However, papyrus has been preserved in Egypt due to of the dryness of the desert and the absence of bacteria.

The earliest examples of alphabetic writing, which date from 1450 to 1150 BC, were found at the site of the ancient Canaanite city of Ugarit. A writing system consisting of 30 cuneiform symbols was invented to write in Ugaritic. Ugaritic written documents were engraved on clay tablets that are almost indestructible when baked. However, the few remaining documents suggest that the inhabitants of Ugarit were more accustomed to the usual Semitic alphabetic writing tradition of writing on perishable materials.

A very late, and particularly special, example of a surviving original Semitic parchment is the so-called Dead Sea Scrolls. Dating from about 100 BC to 68 AD, these mysterious religious texts written in Aramaic and Hebrew were found between 1947 and 1956 in clay pots in an Israeli desert cave. It’s easier to trace the evolution of the Levantine alphabets used in Semitic languages like Phoenician, Hebrew, and Aramaic after 1200 BC, as there are a few inscriptions carved in stone.

These alphabetic scripts differ from how modern European alphabetic writing is used in two important respects. Firstly, in Semitic writing texts are normally written right to left, instead of left to right. Secondly, vowel sounds and diphthongs in languages that use Semitic scripts (a, e, i, o, u, o, ai, oo, etc.) are not written, and only consonants are recorded (b, k, d, f, g, etc.).

It seems that the writing of vowel sounds occurred by accident, and it wasn’t some sort of brilliant invention. The Greeks were aware of the Levantine alphabets by having established regular contact with the Phoenicians and other peoples of the region between 950 and 850 BC, when they both, among others, established markets throughout the Mediterranean. Some letters that represent consonants in the Semitic sense sounded like vowels to the Greeks.

The Greeks also took their alphabet to Italy, where it was adapted for use in Etruscan, Latin, and other languages. The Roman Empire helped to spread their alphabet throughout much of Western Europe, although the Greek alphabet was still used in the Eastern Empire. By the time the Western Roman Empire fell in the 5th century, it was already a Christian empire. Writing (in Latin) had become essential in ecclesiastical administration. Both the Latin writing system and Christianity survived the empire that gave birth to them. During the early medieval period, the Latin alphabet was adapted to transcribe various languages, such as Gothic, Old Irish, French and Old English. Meanwhile, in the East, the Greek Orthodox Church expanded to the north, Russia and the Balkans, taking the Greek alphabet with them. It’s said that two Orthodox clerics, St. Cyril and St. Methodius, adapted the Greek alphabet to write Slavic languages. This is why the alphabet currently used in Russia, Bulgaria and other parts of Eastern Europe is called Cyrillic, in honor of St. Cyril. In this way, the Semitic, Greek, and Latin alphabets served as the basis of most of the alphabets currently used in modern Europe, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent.


Contenido

Human communication was initiated with the origin of speech approximately 500,000 BCE [ cita necesaria ]. Symbols were developed about 30,000 years ago. The imperfection of speech, which nonetheless allowed easier dissemination of ideas and eventually resulted in the creation of new forms of communications, improving both the range at which people could communicate and the longevity of the information. All of those inventions were based on the key concept of the symbol.

The oldest known symbols created for the purpose of communication were cave paintings, a form of rock art, dating to the Upper Paleolithic age. The oldest known cave painting is located within Chauvet Cave, dated to around 30,000 BC. [1] These paintings contained increasing amounts of information: people may have created the first calendar as far back as 15,000 years ago. [2] The connection between drawing and writing is further shown by linguistics: in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece the concepts and words of drawing and writing were one and the same (Egyptian: 's-sh', Greek: 'graphein'). [3]

The next advancement in the history of communications came with the production of petroglyphs, carvings into a rock surface. It took about 20,000 years for homo sapiens to move from the first cave paintings to the first petroglyphs, which are dated to approximately the Neolithic and late Upper Paleolithic boundary, about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.

It is possible that Homo sapiens (humans) of that time used some other forms of communication, often for mnemonic purposes - specially arranged stones, symbols carved in wood or earth, quipu-like ropes, tattoos, but little other than the most durable carved stones has survived to modern times and we can only speculate about their existence based on our observation of still existing 'hunter-gatherer' cultures such as those of Africa or Oceania. [4]

A pictogram (pictograph) is a symbol representing a concept, object, activity, place or event by illustration. Pictography is a form of proto-writing whereby ideas are transmitted through drawing. Pictographs were the next step in the evolution of communication: the most important difference between petroglyphs and pictograms is that petroglyphs are simply showing an event, but pictograms are telling a story about the event, thus they can for example be ordered chronologically.

Pictograms were used by various ancient cultures all over the world since around 9000 BC, when tokens marked with simple pictures began to be used to label basic farm produce, and become increasingly popular around 6000–5000 BC.

They were the basis of cuneiform [5] and hieroglyphs, and began to develop into logographic writing systems around 5000 BC.

Pictograms, in turn, evolved into ideograms, graphical symbols that represent an idea. Their ancestors, the pictograms, could represent only something resembling their form: therefore a pictogram of a circle could represent a sun, but not concepts like 'heat', 'light', 'day' or 'Great God of the Sun'. Ideograms, on the other hand, could convey more abstract concepts, so that for example an ideogram of

Because some ideas are universal, many different cultures developed similar ideograms. For example, an eye with a tear means 'sadness' in Native American ideograms in California, as it does for the Aztecs, the early Chinese and the Egyptians. [ cita necesaria ]

Early scripts Edit

The oldest-known forms of writing were primarily logographic in nature, based on pictographic and ideographic elements. Most writing systems can be broadly divided into three categories: logographic, syllabic y alphabetic (o segmental) however, all three may be found in any given writing system in varying proportions, often making it difficult to categorise a system uniquely.

The invention of the first writing systems is roughly contemporary with the beginning of the Bronze Age in the late Neolithic of the late 4000 BC. The first writing system is generally believed to have been invented in pre-historic Sumer and developed by the late 3000's BC into cuneiform. Egyptian hieroglyphs, and the undeciphered Proto-Elamite writing system and Indus Valley script also date to this era, though a few scholars have questioned the Indus Valley script's status as a writing system.

The original Sumerian writing system was derived from a system of clay tokens used to represent commodities. By the end of the 4th millennium BC, this had evolved into a method of keeping accounts, using a round-shaped stylus impressed into soft clay at different angles for recording numbers. This was gradually augmented with pictographic writing using a sharp stylus to indicate what was being counted. Round-stylus and sharp-stylus writing was gradually replaced about 2700–2000 BC by writing using a wedge-shaped stylus (hence the term cuneiform), at first only for logograms, but developed to include phonetic elements by the 2800 BC. About 2600 BC cuneiform began to represent syllables of spoken Sumerian language.

Finally, cuneiform writing became a general purpose writing system for logograms, syllables, and numbers. By the 26th century BC, this script had been adapted to another Mesopotamian language, Akkadian, and from there to others such as Hurrian, and Hittite. Scripts similar in appearance to this writing system include those for Ugaritic and Old Persian.

The Chinese script may have originated independently of the Middle Eastern scripts, around the 16th century BC (early Shang Dynasty), out of a late neolithic Chinese system of proto-writing dating back to c. 6000 BC. The pre-Columbian writing systems of the Americas, including Olmec and Mayan, are also generally believed to have had independent origins.

Alphabet Edit

The first pure alphabets (properly, "abjads", mapping single symbols to single phonemes, but not necessarily each phoneme to a symbol) emerged around 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt, but by then alphabetic principles had already been incorporated into Egyptian hieroglyphs for a millennium (see Middle Bronze Age alphabets).

By 2700 BC, Egyptian writing had a set of some 22 hieroglyphs to represent syllables that begin with a single consonant of their language, plus a vowel (or no vowel) to be supplied by the native speaker. These glyphs were used as pronunciation guides for logograms, to write grammatical inflections, and, later, to transcribe loan words and foreign names.

However, although seemingly alphabetic in nature, the original Egyptian uniliterals were not a system and were never used by themselves to encode Egyptian speech. In the Middle Bronze Age an apparently "alphabetic" system is thought by some to have been developed in central Egypt around 1700 BC for or by Semitic workers, but we cannot read these early writings and their exact nature remains open to interpretation.

Over the next five centuries this Semitic "alphabet" (really a syllabary like Phoenician writing) seems to have spread north. All subsequent alphabets around the world [ cita necesaria ] with the sole exception of Korean Hangul have either descended from it, or been inspired by one of its descendants.

Scholars agree that there is a relationship between the West-Semitic alphabet and the creation of the Greek alphabet. There is debate between scholars regarding the earliest uses of the Greek alphabet because of the changes that were made to create the Greek alphabet. [6]

The Greek alphabet had the following characteristics:

  1. The Greek lettering we know of today traces back to the eighth century B.C.
  2. Early Greek scripts used the twenty-two West-Semitic letters, and included five supplementary letters.
  3. Early Greek was not uniform in structure, and had many local variations.
  4. The Greek lettering was written using a lapidary style of writing.
  5. Greek was written in a boustrophedon style.

Scholars believe that at one point in time, early Greek scripts were very close to the West-Semitic alphabet. Over time, the changes that were made to the Greek alphabet were introduced as a result of the need for the Greeks to find a better way to express their spoken language in a more accurate way. [6]

Storytelling Edit

Verbal communication is one of the earliest forms of human communication, the oral tradition of storytelling has dated back to various times in history. The development of communication in its oral form can be categorized based on certain historical periods. The complexity of oral communication has always been reflective based on the circumstance of the time period. Verbal communication was never bound to one specific area, instead, it had and continues to be a globally shared tradition of communication. [7] People communicated through song, poems, and chants, as some examples. People would gather in groups and pass down stories, myths, and history. Oral poets from Indo-European regions were known as "weavers of words" for their mastery over the spoken word and ability to tell stories. [8] Nomadic people also had oral traditions that they used to tell stories of the history of their people to pass them on to the next generation.

Nomadic tribes have been the torch bearers of oral storytelling. Nomads of Arabia are one example of the many nomadic tribes that have continued through history to use oral storytelling as a tool to tell their histories and the story of their people. Due to the nature of nomadic life, these individuals were often left without architecture and possessions to call their own, and often left little to no traces of themselves. [9] The richness of the nomadic life and culture is preserved by early Muslim scholars who collect the poems and stories that are handed down from generation to generation. Poems created by these Arabic nomads are passed down by specialists known as sha'ir. These individuals spread the stories and histories of these nomadic tribes, and often in times of war, would strengthen morale within members of given tribes through these stories. [ cita necesaria ]

In its natural form, oral communication was, and has continued to be, one of the best ways for humans to spread their message, history, and traditions to the world. [ cita necesaria ]

Timeline of writing technology Edit

  • 30,000 BC – In ice-age Europe, people mark ivory, bone, and stone with patterns to keep track of time, using a lunar calendar. [10]
  • 14,000 BC – In what is now Mezhirich, Ukraine, the first known artifact with a map on it is made using bone. [10]
  • Prior to 3500 BC – Communication was carried out through paintings of indigenous tribes. – The Sumerians develop cuneiform writing and the Egyptians develop hieroglyphic writing.
  • 16th century BC – The Phoenicians develop an alphabet.
  • 105 – Tsai Lun invents paper.
  • 7th century – Hindu-Malayan empires write legal documents on copper plate scrolls, and write other documents on more perishable media.
  • 751 – Paper is introduced to the Muslim world after the Battle of Talas.
  • 1250 – The quill is used for writing. [10]
  • 1305 – The Chinese develop wooden blockmovable type printing.
  • 1450 – Johannes Gutenberg invents a printing press with metal movable type.
  • 1844 – Charles Fenerty produces paper from a wood pulp, eliminating rag paper which was in limited supply.
  • 1849 – Associated Press organizes Nova Scotiapony express to carry latest European news for New York newspapers.
  • 1958 – Chester Carlson presents the first photocopier suitable for office use.

The history of telecommunication - the transmission of signals over a distance for the purpose of communication - began thousands of years ago with the use of smoke signals and drums in Africa, America and parts of Asia. In the 1790s the first fixed semaphore systems emerged in Europe however it was not until the 1830s that electrical telecommunication systems started to appear.


Which undeciphered writing system has the largest corpus of text? - Historia

Ancient History relies on disciplines such as Epigraphy, the study of ancient inscribed texts, for evidence of the recorded past. However, these texts, “inscriptions”, are often damaged over the centuries, and illegible parts of the text must be restored by specialists, known as epigraphists. This work presents PYTHIA, the first ancient text restoration model that recovers missing characters from a damaged text input using deep neural networks. Its architecture is carefully designed to handle longterm context information, and deal efficiently with missing or corrupted character and word representations. To train it, we wrote a nontrivial pipeline to convert PHI, the largest digital corpus of ancient Greek inscriptions, to machine actionable text, which we call PHI-ML. On PHI-ML, PYTHIA’s predictions achieve a 30.1% character error rate, compared to the 57.3% of human epigraphists. Moreover, in 73.5% of cases the ground-truth sequence was among the Top-20 hypotheses of PYTHIA, which effectively demonstrates the impact of this assistive method on the field of digital epigraphy, and sets the state-of-the-art in ancient text restoration.

Authors' Notes

Historians rely on different sources to reconstruct the thought, society and history of past civilisations. Many of these sources are text-based – whether written on scrolls or carved into stone, the preserved records of the past help shed light on ancient societies. However, these records of our ancient cultural heritage are often incomplete: due to deliberate destruction, or erosion and fragmentation over time. This is the case for inscriptions: texts written on a durable surface (such as stone, ceramic, metal) by individuals, groups and institutions of the past, and which are the focus of the discipline called epigraphy . Thousands of inscriptions have survived to our day but the majority have suffered damage over the centuries, and parts of the text are illegible or lost (Figure 1). The reconstruction ("restoration") of these documents is complex and time consuming, but necessary for a deeper understanding of civilisations past.

One of the issues with discerning meaning from incomplete fragments of text is that there are often multiple possible solutions. In many word games and puzzles, players guess letters to complete a word or phrase – the more letters that are specified, the more constrained the possible solutions become. But unlike these games, where players have to guess a phrase in isolation, historians restoring a text can estimate the likelihood of different possible solutions based on other context clues in the inscription – such as grammatical and linguistic considerations, layout and shape, textual parallels, and historical context. Now, by using machine learning trained on ancient texts, we’ve built a system that can furnish a more complete and systematically ranked list of possible solutions, which we hope will augment historians’ understanding of a text.

Figure 1: Damaged inscription: a decree of the Athenian Assembly relating to the management of the Acropolis (dating 485/4 BCE). IG I3 4B. (CC BY-SA 3.0, WikiMedia)

Pythia

Pythia – which takes its name from the woman who delivered the god Apollo's oracular responses at the Greek sanctuary of Delphi – is the first ancient text restoration model that recovers missing characters from a damaged text input using deep neural networks. Bringing together the disciplines of ancient history and deep learning, the present work offers a fully automated aid to the text restoration task, providing ancient historians with multiple textual restorations, as well as the confidence level for each hypothesis.

Pythia takes a sequence of damaged text as input, and is trained to predict character sequences comprising hypothesised restorations of ancient Greek inscriptions (texts written in the Greek alphabet dating between the seventh century BCE and the fifth century CE). The architecture works at both the character- and word-level, thereby effectively handling long-term context information, and dealing efficiently with incomplete word representations (Figure 2). This makes it applicable to all disciplines dealing with ancient texts ( philology , papyrology , codicology ) and applies to any language (ancient or modern).

Figure 2: Pythia processing the phrase μηδέν ἄγαν ( Mēdèn ágan ) "nothing in excess," a fabled maxim inscribed on Apollo’s temple in Delphi. The letters "γα" are the characters to be predicted, and are annotated with ‘?’. Since ἄ??ν is not a complete word, its embedding is treated as unknown (‘unk’). The decoder outputs correctly "γα".

Experimental evaluation

To train Pythia, we wrote a non-trivial pipeline to convert the largest digital corpus of ancient Greek inscriptions ( PHI Greek Inscriptions ) to machine actionable text, which we call PHI-ML. As shown in Table 1, Pythia’s predictions on PHI-ML achieve a 30.1% character error rate, compared to the 57.3% of evaluated human ancient historians (specifically, these were PhD students from Oxford). Moreover, in 73.5% of cases the ground-truth sequence was among the Top-20 hypotheses of Pythia, which effectively demonstrates the impact of this assistive method on the field of digital epigraphy, and sets the state-of-the-art in ancient text restoration.

Table 1: Pythia's Predictive performance of on PHI-ML.

The importance of context

To evaluate Pythia’s receptiveness to context information and visualise the attention weights at each decoding step, we experimented with the modified lines of an inscription from the city of Pergamon (in modern-day Turkey)*. In the text of Figure 3, the last word is a Greek personal name ending in -ου. We set ἀπολλοδώρου ("Apollodorou") as the personal name, and hid its first 9 characters. This name was specifically chosen because it already appeared within the input text. Pythia attended to the contextually-relevant parts of the text - specifically, ἀπολλοδώρου. The sequence ἀπολλοδώρ was predicted correctly. As a litmus test, we substituted ἀπολλοδώρου in the input text with another personal name of the same length: ἀρτεμιδώρου ("Artemidorou"). The predicted sequence changed accordingly to ἀρτεμιδώρ, thereby illustrating the importance of context in the prediction process.

Figure 3: Visualisation of the attention weights for the decoding of the first 4 missing characters. To aid visualisation, the weights within the area of the characters to be predicted (‘?’) are in green, and in blue for the rest of the text the magnitude of the weights is represented by the colour intensity. The ground-truth text ἀπολλοδώρ appears in the input text, and Pythia attends to the relevant parts of the sequence.

Future research

The combination of machine learning and epigraphy has the potential to impact meaningfully the study of inscribed texts, and widen the scope of the historian’s work. For this reason, we have open-sourced an online Python notebook, Pythia, and PHI-ML’s processing pipeline at https://github.com/sommerschield/ancient-text-restoration , collaborating with scholars at the University of Oxford . By so doing, we hope to aid future research and inspire further interdisciplinary work.

*Specifically, lines b.8- c.5 of the inscription MDAI(A) 32 (1907) 428, 275.


The Story of India’s Many Scripts

While India’s scripts are ancient, technology and modernity are changing their usage patterns.

Only a few years ago, things did not seem to be going well for India’s various alphabets, often known as the Indic or Brahmic scripts after the historical Iron Age script that is the ancestor of modern South and Southeast Asian writing systems. Digitalization and the widespread proliferation of Roman-alphabet keyboards in India meant that Indian users would often transcribe Indian languages using ad hoc Romanizations on the internet and via text.

Yet today, one can’t follow the Indian Twittersphere or Indian content on social media and the rest of the internet without noticing the recent proliferation of Indic script material, particularly Devanagari (the script used for Hindi, Marathi, and Nepali). Technology and innovation helped this process along, and instead of shrinking the sphere of Indic script usage, they allow Indic scripts to be used more broadly, especially at the popular level. The use of Unicode, and the spread of Indic script transliteration and typing interfaces on Google, and on phones—which is how most Indians access the Internet—have all made it much easier to publish online in Indic scripts. Many phones and computers in India are not specifically designed with Indic script keyboards and instead use the Roman alphabet keyboards common in the West. Transliteration software renders this moot. The increased use of Indic-language scripts has also lead to newer and more artistic fonts for Indian languages.

In short, this is a golden age for Indic language script usage, due to technology and increased literacy. This is despite both the proliferation of English-language education in India, and the shoddy quality of public schools in that country. The very nature of modernity, with its mass communication, advertisements, social platforms, and the spread of information and entertainment to everyone with a smartphone, means that everyone will eventually gain and utilize basic literacy, even if by osmosis and not formal education. And most of this literacy in India will be in local languages. This will be the first time in India’s recorded history that its scripts are being used so widely.

India has a long history of writing. While India has been a literate culture for millennia, it has also greatly valued oral knowledge. The ancient Hindu scriptures, the Vedas, the oldest of which dated to around 1500 BCE were memorized verbatim for at least a thousand years, if not more, before being committed to writing. The oldest writing found in the subcontinent is the as yet undeciphered script of the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), which seems to have been somewhat logo-syllabic in nature. The script fell out of use by 1500 BCE.

The Indus Valley Script. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The linguistic landscape of the subcontinent changed dramatically during the 2nd millennium BCE, so that is is impossible to determine if there is a connection between the IVC script and the next clearly attested script in India, the Brahmi script found in the inscriptions of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka (ruled 268-232 BCE), especially since they probably represented vastly different, unrelated languages.

The sudden appearance of the Brahmi writing system is one of the great mysteries of writing in India, as there is no evidence of inscriptions beforehand. Another script, the (extinct, childless) Kharosthi of northwest Pakistan and Afghanistan seems to be clearly derived from the imperial Aramaic script used by the Persians who ruled over parts of the Indus Valley for two centuries until the arrival of Alexander the Great. It is unclear if the fully developed Brahmi script was invented by the Mauryan Empire as a result of exposure to Aramaic, but this seems unlikely, particularly since there were advanced states in the Ganges valley and a corpus of Vedic literature dating from before the Mauryan period.

Diplomat Brief

Weekly Newsletter

Get briefed on the story of the week, and developing stories to watch across the Asia-Pacific.

It is more likely that pre-Mauryan inscriptions may still be discovered, and in fact, some Brahmi inscriptions have been found in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka dating to the 6th century BCE. Is it possible then, that writing spread from the south to the north, countervening the traditional notion that the Indic scripts originate in the Ganges valley? This may quite possibly be the case, especially since the coasts of southern India were more exposed to foreign trade from the Middle East than northern India, and scripts from traders could have been brought to India this way (the same way the Phoenicians brought their script to Greece). This long gestation period and overland route from southern to northern India may explain why the Brahmi script, even if it is vaguely derived from Middle Eastern alphabets, is so different and nativized, especially relative to the more obviously Middle Eastern-inspired Kharosthi.

The Possible Evolution of Brahmi from Middle Eastern Scripts. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Once the Brahmi script was spread throughout India by the subcontinent-wide Mauryan Empire, it was used by the subcontinent’s elites.However, unlike imperial China with its unified central government and bureaucratic exam system, and Christian and Muslim societies that were united by a written scripture, oral culture and regional differences in India led to the Brahmi script differentiating and evolving into different scripts in various regions of India, a phenomenon that was already occurring by the end of the Maruyan period in the 2nd century BCE. This phenomenon—each literary language having a particular and unique script—is not actually that unique to India, as the various languages of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean also evolved their own scripts from a common source.

The increased need for quicker, daily writing, versus use for monumental inscriptions may have led to the predominance of cursive styles that evolved into India’s modern scripts. Various other factors may have been at play, such as the material used for writing: in South India, scripts became more rounded, as a result of writing on palm leaves, while in North India, cloth and birch bark allowed for more angular lines, and indeed the major division amongst Brahmic scripts is between the southern Indian/Southeast Asian scripts and the northern Indian and Tibetan scripts.

The Differentiation of Brahmi Letter Shapes. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Regional linguistic differences also helped Indic writing proliferate into many scripts in both South and Southeast Asia. It became prestigious for every major language to have its own script, though what evolved into today’s Devanagari (which began to emerge by the 7th century CE) script retained a special prestige due to its close association with Sanskrit. It is unclear if the evolution of Indic scripts into new forms would have ever stopped had it not been for the standardization process that is necessary for a print-oriented mass modern society. Relatively recently, for example, Devanagari spawned new, regional variations such as the Gujarati script, indicating that there was no real “final form” in the evolution of letter shapes in Indic writing. This seems to have remained the case, even when Indic-script users were exposed to the more unchanging Roman and Arabic alphabets.

The Evolution of Letter Shapes. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The change in letter forms leading to new scripts was probably so slow, generation by generation, that the process did not necessarily involve conscious change from one script to another, but a slow evolution of differences in letter formation as texts were copied throughout the ages. A similar development occurred in medieval Europe with the Latin script, but the development of the printing press, and Renaissance ideas about how the Latin script ought to look like led to a typographical convergence.

Brahmi and Devanagari found together on a pillar. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The evolution of Brahmi into so many scripts over time in India does however raise the question of what individuals and scribes thought about the changes upon becoming aware—and they were aware, as inscriptions in multiple different Indian scripts have been found together, like Kannada with Devanagari—of the fact that their contemporary writing systems were divergent in separate regions, and were also vastly different from the forms found in inscriptions and ancient documents. While 19th century scribes of Indian scripts were unable to tell the British what was written on ancient pillars from the Mauryan Era (the British deciphered Brahmi in 1837), this inability to read ancient forms of writing does not always seem to be the case. In fact, there have been examples of Mauryan, Gupta, and early Nagari inscriptions found together, with each subsequent script alluding to the content of what was written before it in a predecessor script.

But that fact that this knowledge was lost over time and that Indian scripts differentiated into so many forms does seem to indicate that literacy was not widespread and was limited to pockets of individuals, a trend which probably accelerated due to the eclipse of a pan-Indian literary culture after the 12th century. Before the emergence of a modern, mass culture throughout India, writing styles and scripts were particular to regions, and even castes, with scribes and merchants often utilizing their own scripts, which were usually simpler forms of the more formal monumental alphabets used for official or religious purposes.

However, modern trends such as the emergence of a politically unified, subcontinent-wide state in India, new scholarship, and technology seem to be reversed the differentiation that has characterized Indian scripts for past 2,000 years. The literacy of hundred of millions of people in native scripts makes it unlikely that the shapes of letters used by millions of people everyday for communication will change anytime soon, as that would lead to confusion and a lack of communication. The standardization and use of some scripts for mass print and online have also led to the decline of caste and trade based scripts, as well as many local variations. Many hitherto unwritten modern languages are now written in established scripts, usually the script most prevalent in that particular state of India’s, instead of evolving a new script for the language.

While India’s scripts are ancient, technology and modernity are changing their usage patterns, and are in fact allowing them to thrive as never before in standardized and widely used forms, as more people gain literacy and access to the internet.


Get around [ edit ]

While Corpus Christi is ostensibly laid out in a classic city-block style, the adaptation of that system to the local geography can make navigation a little confusing. Nevertheless, there are several main roads that traverse nearly the entire city, and these can be used to orient yourself if you find yourself lost.

By car [ edit ]

Most visitors and locals travel around Corpus Christi in cars. Most likely, a rental or personal car is the best way for you to see the city.

The main routes one needs to know to get around efficiently in Corpus Christi are I-37, South Padre Island Drive (TX-358), los Crosstown Expressway (TX-286), y Ocean Drive/Shoreline Boulevard (Ocean Drive is an extension of Shoreline Blvd. for about seven miles along Corpus Christi Bay).

I-37 brings you into town from the west and ends on Shoreline Drive downtown on the Bayfront.

Shoreline Blvd. is a section of about four miles in downtown Corpus Christi along the bay. It begins in the area of the Art Museum of South Texas and leads south, becoming Ocean Drive. Following Ocean Drive takes one through the most scenic part of the city and to its end at the Naval Air Station and Texas A&M.

South Padre Island Drive does not go to South Padre Island (a frequent mistake made by visitors), but is better thought of as the southern section of Padre Island Drive. It is a section of 358 running from I-37 down the southern side of the city from northwest to southeast and ending on Padre Island at Padre Island National Seashore. Along it is the main shopping and dining area for the city. Locals will invariably refer to South Padre Island Drive as S.P.I.D., with the letters always pronounced separately. Visitors should remember that there will not be signs reading SPID. Instead, many read NAS-CCAD (for Naval Air Station and Corpus Christi Army Depot) or TX-358.

Connecting the northern end of S.P.I.D. to the downtown area near where I-37 ends is the Crosstown Expressway.

los Harbor Bridge takes drivers over the ship channel from downtown to Corpus Christi Beach, a popular destination for tourists.

By public transit [ edit ]

Corpus Christi has a small trolley service (actually buses poorly disguised as trolleys) and a citywide bus service. Both are run by the Corpus Christi Regional Transit Authority, and schedules can be found at their website [11].

There is no Metro, subway, or any other form of a city rail service.

Car rental services can be found at the airport or along S.P.I.D.

Corpus Christi has a marina, for those few lucky enough to travel by water.


Epi-Olmec script

One of the most important Olmec finds was the discovery of an inscribed slab found under the waters of the Acula River near the village of La Mojarra in 1986 in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Dubbed Stela 1 of La Mojarra, this monument was inscribed with 465 glyphs arranged in 21 columns, and the image of a ruler. The writing on it is nothing like any other writing system in Mesoamerica, such as Maya, Zapotec, Mixtec, or Aztec, although like the Maya it also used the Long Count.

However, Stela 1 of La Mojarra is not the only example of its writing system. Most of the monuments that bear glyphs in the same (or similar) writing system are also found near the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the thin stretch of land that separates the majority of Mexico from its south-eastern states and from Central America, although none has texts as long as the Stela. The famous Tuxtla Statuette, a hand-length nephrite figurine of an almost comedic man dressed in a duck's outfit, bears a Long Count date of 162 CE as well as non-calendric glyphs. Other famous inscriptions include Stela C of Tres Zapotes, with a Long Count date of 32 BCE, and Stela 1 of Chiapa de Corzo (located in Chiapas, Mexico), with an incomplete date conjectured to be 36 BCE. In the site of Cerro de las Mesas, Veracruz, highly erroded monuments also bear Long Count dates, but from the early Classic period at around 450 CE, as well as a large stone version of the Tuxtla Statuette devoid of any text.

Scholars have given this script many names, epi-Olmec was chosen since it is more common in scientific literature. Some have called this script the "La Mojarra script" after the location where the Stela was found. Another name, also based on a geographical name, is the "Isthmian Script", named after the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. You would find all three names used in publications, and websites. Yet another name is the "Tuxtla Script", named after the Tuxtla Statuette as well as the Tuxtla Mountains near which many of the texts have been found.

Left side image of La Mojarra Stela 1, showing a person identified as "Harvester Mountain Lord". Inscriptions in the Isthmian or Epi-Olmec script on the right side of La Mojarra Stela 1

The Epi-Olmec script turned out to be structurally similar to the Maya. It is logophonetic, meaning that one set of the signs, the phonograms, have phonetic values, while the other glyphs, called logograms, represents morpheme. A morpheme is a word or part of a word that cannot be broken further into smaller units with relevant meaning. For instance, the English word beautiful can be broken down into beauty and -ful, neither of which can be broken down further. Beauty is a morpheme because it is a word. Furthermore, -ful carries the meaning of "a lot of", and can also be used with other words, like bountiful, faithful, and others. Hence it is not a unique derivation of beauty, but a morpheme in its own right.

In a logophonetic system, both logograms and phonograms are used. Frequently logograms make up the root of a word whereas phonograms spell out the prefixes and suffixes that modify the root.

The vowel u ("u" with a line through the middle) is a strange vowel. It is a central high vowel, meaning that it's like the common vowel [i] but the position of the peak of the tongue is halfway between the throat and the teeth. You can check out Phonetics for details on how to pronounce it.

All phonograms in the Epi-Olmec script represent syllables. So we call the set of phonograms the syllabary:

The Epi-Olmec culture was a cultural area in the central region of the present-day Mexican state of Veracruz, concentrated in the Papaloapan River basin, a culture that existed during the Late Formative period, from roughly 300 BCE to roughly 250 CE. Epi-Olmec was a successor culture to the Olmec, hence the prefix "epi-" or "post-". Although Epi-Olmec did not attain the far-reaching achievements of that earlier culture, it did realize, with its sophisticated calendrics and writing system, a level of cultural complexity unknown to the Olmecs.


Ver el vídeo: Cómo escriben diferentes culturas? Los sistemas de escritura - CuriosaMente 297