Start at the beginning
- developed by illiterate(s)
- Evolved slowly from parent
- first in its area
- inventor known
- language unknown
- mercantile script
- National pride
- now ceremonial
- previous script didn't quite work
- private or secret
- probably developed by illiterate(s)
- probably first in its area
- Rating: 1 "Dull, only here for completeness"
- Rating: 2 "Not all that interesting"
- Rating: 3 "I did not know that"
- Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!"
- Rating: 5 "Whoa!!"
- revealed in a dream
- significant female influence
- spiritual or supernatural
- technology influenced
Category Archives: Logograms
Linear Elamite — also called “Old Elamite” — was the outgrowth of proto-Elamite in modern-day Iran. We tend to think of languages as either “deciphered” or “undeciphered”, but Linear Elamite is currently partially deciphered and likely to stay that way … Continue reading
Proto-writing happened over an extensive area over thousands of years. While proto-writing developed into “proto-cuneiform” in modern-day Iraq and from there into Sumerian cuneiform, it developed into proto-Elamite in Iran (and from there into Elamite). We don’t hear much about … Continue reading
There are no pre-Columbian Aztec books remaining: the colonists managed to get every last one. However, there are a few books written by Aztecs left from the period after the Spaniards occupied the land, with translations/explanations written in Spanish. The … Continue reading
The Mixtec writing system is from Southern Mexico, very close to the Mayan civilization in distance and contemporaneous. The Spaniards only did half as good a job destroying the Mixtecs books — there are a whopping eight pre-Columbian Mixtec books … Continue reading
Maya script is a very rich and complicated script, and the colonizing Spaniards did an outstanding job of eradicating it. For example, they managed to destroy all but four books written in Maya script. Fortunately, many carved examples of Mayan … Continue reading
How many independently-developed writing systems have there been? One hundred years ago, educated people would have told you without hesitation, “three: Sumerian or Egyptian in the Middle East, Chinese in China, and Mayan in Central America”. Very well-educated people would … Continue reading
Like the Sumerians and the Egyptians, the Harappans inhabited a fertile river valley (this one in Pakistan) in around 3300 BC. Like in the Middle East, the Harappans developed a sophisticated civilization. Like in the Middle East, the Harappans put … Continue reading
In 1956, the People’s Republic of China promoted a simplified writing scheme, with the goal of improving literacy. Currently, Simplified Chinese is used in the PRC (except for Hong Kong), Malaysia, and Singapore; Traditional Chinese is used everywhere else. The … Continue reading
Traditional Chinese — also called “Regular Chinese” or “kǎishū”, appeared around 200 BC. There were numerous evolutionary stages between Small Seal and Traditional Chinese, including a looser, more calligraphic style called “Clerical Script”. At this stage, some of the stylistic … Continue reading