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The Story of Writing


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Table of Contents

I. How Writing Works 1. Reading the Rosetta Stone * 2. Sound, Symbol and Script * 3. Proto-Writing II. Extinct Writing * 4. Cuneiform * 5. Egyptian Hieroglyphs * 6. Linear B * 7. Mayan Glyphs * 8. Undeciphered Scripts III. Living Writing 9. The First Alphabet * 10. New Alphabets from Old * 11. Chinese Writing * 12. Japanese Writing * 13. From Hieroglyphs to Alphabets - and Back? * Postscript in the New Millennium

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Without writing there would be no history and no civilization as we know it. But how, when and where did writing evolve?

About the Author

Andrew Robinson has written more than 25 books on the arts and sciences. They include Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts, India: A Short History and Earthshock, which won the Association of Earth Science Editors Outstanding Publication Award, plus Earth-Shattering Events . A regular contributor to such magazines as Current World Archaeology, History Today, The Lancet, Nature and Science, he has also been literary editor of The Times Higher Education Supplement and a visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge.


'The most accessible and informative book available on the major writing systems of the world' - History Today
'Excellent ... Robinson covers so much ground in such short order that you feel he must have got something wrong or left out something important. He hasn't' - Bookdealer
'Delightful to read ... difficult to put down once started' - Communication Arts

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