Oppure ottienilo con Kobo Super Points! Controlla se hai abbastanza punti per questo elemento. Her discovery, which she published in Before Writing:
Denise Schmandt-Besserat's great discovery -- that the origins of writing are actually found in counting -- began, as most such groundbreaking work does, with a seemingly unrelated pursuit. When the University of Texas at Austin professor began her academic career in the s, at issue was not "Where did writing come from?
For years no one knew what they were, though it was evident they were something. In one of several frustrated attempts to classify the tokens, the University of Pennsylvania's Carleton S.
Coon wrote in his report on Belt Cave, Iran: What they were used for is anyone's guess. Fresh from study at the For 30 years, article by article, Schmandt-Besserat has built an ironclad case to explain a mystery that foiled archeologists, anthropologists, and philosophers for hundreds of years.
What she found was that the tokens comprised an elaborate system of accounting that was used throughout the Middle East from approximately to B. Each token stood for a specific item, such as a sheep or a jar of oil, and was used to take inventory and keep accounts. Ancients sealed the tokens in clay envelopes, which were marked with the debtor's personal "cylinder seal" which acted as a kind of signature.
After using this system for some time, a new one emerged: People began to impress the tokens into the side of the envelope before sealing them up, so they wouldn't have to break the seal and thus the bargain to check the envelope's contents.
Eventually, it occurred to people that they didn't actually need to put the tokens in an envelope at all, and could just impress the tokens onto the clay in order to keep track of the account. Then still another transformation occurred -- the ancient Sumerians realized it was possible to simply inscribe with a stylus the image of the token.
This served as the earliest type of written sign. Schmandt-Besserat had found her answer to the conundrum of how writing began: She had thus explained why so many pictographs looked so little like the things they were supposed to represent.
Schmandt-Besserat filled in the missing link between the thing a sheep, for example and its sign a circle with an X on it.
As it turned out, the mark wasn't supposed to represent a sheep; it was supposed to represent the counter for the sheep. Schmandt-Besserat had a thrilling "Aha! Her published articles number close to and she has written books catering to every audience -- first to the academic community through the dense two-volume text Before Writing: From Counting to Cuneiformthen to the educated lay person via When Writing Came Aboutand finally to the younger generation in two children's books, The History of Counting, which just hit bookstores this fall, and The History of Writing, which is currently in her editor's hands.
A popular teacher, Schmandt-Besserat tends to receive astronomically high ratings from her students in faculty surveys and engenders profound respect from her colleagues. Nevertheless, her determination to convince the academic world of the validity of her ideas has not been easy.
Carol Justus of UT's classics department recalls a lecture philosopher Jacques Derrida once gave at Berkeley, at which he said something to the effect of, "Of course the university is conservative -- that's what it's there for.
Schmandt-Besserat's innovation in conjunction with academia's resistance to the new has led to the occasional quarrel. To take a recent example of the workings of the academic world, last April Schmandt-Besserat was not invited to present a paper at a conference about the origin of writing at the University of Pennsylvania.
Though tokens are now almost universally accepted as a precursor to writing, many scholars at the conference were there to further other co-possibilities, such as picture-making. The debate, they say, should revolve around the search for writing's other ancestors, now that the role of tokens has been established.
Because of Schmandt-Besserat's reputation, however, and despite her nonattendance, The New York Times interviewed her at length as part of its coverage of the conference. Schmandt-Besserat says she was "so pleased when The New York Times before writing the article called me right here [at her UT office] and said, "What do you think of that?
But there has been substantial criticism with regard to details of her work. Schmandt-Besserat, never one to shy away from debate, is quick to rise to her own defense.
When discussing the politics of the academic world, she waves her hand as if swatting flies. She rests assured that today it is she, not her detractors, who appears as the authority on writing's origins in modern textbooks in linguistics, anthropology, archeology, and mathematics, and who has been listed in Who's Who in America every year since Before Writing demonstrates, she says, "the breadth of my base and the multiplicity of my examples.
If you look at it there is no doubt possible. I'm very proud of having thought through these problems like nobody had before. Schmandt-Besserat explains it thus:Denise Schmandt-Besserat (Author), Denise Before Writing Schmandt-Besserat (Author) out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editionsReviews: 6.
before writing Download before writing or read online here in PDF or EPUB. Please click button to get before writing book now. All books are in clear copy here, and all files are secure so don't worry about it. 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. The evolution of writing from tokens to pictography, syllabary and alphabet illustrates the development of information processing to deal with larger amounts of data in ever greater abstraction.
Introduction. The three writing systems that developed independently in the Near East, China and Mesoamerica, shared a remarkable stability. In her most recent book, When Writing Met Art (), Schmandt-Besserat investigated the impact of literacy on visual art.
She showed that, before writing, art of the ancient Near East mostly consisted of repetitive motifs. Before Writing gives a new perspective on the evolution of communication.
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.