Examines the relationships between the writing systems of the ancient Aegean and Cyprus in the second and first millennia BC, principally Cretan `Hieroglyphic', Linear A, Linear B, Cypro-Minoan and the Cypriot Syllabary, demonstrating the great advances made by inter-disciplinary studies.
Understanding Relations Between Scripts: The Aegean Writing Systems arises from a conference held in Cambridge in 2015. The question of how writing systems are related to each other, and how we can study those relationships, has not been studied in detail and this volume aims to fill a gap in scholarship by presenting a number of case studies focused on the writing systems of the Bronze Age Aegean. These include Cretan Hieroglyphic, Linear A and Linear B, used predominantly in Crete and mainland Greece, as well as the Cypro-Minoan script of Cyprus. Most of these systems (the only major exception being Linear B) remain undeciphered to some degree but we nevertheless have considerable evidence for their development and use. Each contributor focuses on a different theoretical problem and/or set of scripts. Important questions include: How and why did writing emerge in Crete in the Middle Bronze Age? What is the relationship between writing and art? Why did different writing systems co-exist with each other? What changes were made when a new system was developed from an old one? Can our understanding of how different systems are related to each other help us to reconstruct the values of script signs? The contributors tackle such questions by employing a variety of methods, from epigraphic and palaeographic analysis to typological comparison and contextual study. The result is a coherent volume that will not only enrich our understanding of the ancient Aegean writing systems in particular, but will also provide an important example for future studies of writing across the world.
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