Friday, January 07, 2011

2 - The Origins of Writing in Western Civilization and the Kaulins Minoan Aegean Sign Concordance (MinAegCon™): A Syllabic Grid of Mycenaean Greek Linear B Script, the Cypriot Syllabary, the Phaistos Disk, two Old Elamite Scripts, the Inscription on the Axe of Arkalochori, and Comparable Signs from Sumerian Pictographs and Egyptian Hieroglyphs

(continued from Origins of Writing: Ancient Sign Concordance 1)

In addition, written signs and symbols permit the creation of "languages" whose function far exceeds the limits of human speech. Modern software programming languages, for example, apply written symbols as "machine language" to a host of hardware applications that would be impossible without writing. In human history, the digital revolution was preceded by the writing revolution, the discovery of script.

Without the advent of writing, the mass of mankind would languish in ignorance, as it still does today in regions marked by illiteracy. The written word opened up a magic reservoir of human talents and abilities from which many of us on this planet profit every day. Whatever the origins of writing may be, we are indebted to the men and women who invented, introduced and dispersed this technology to the world.

B. Michael Ventris, John Chadwick and the Decipherment of Minoan Linear B as Mycenaean Greek

When Michael Ventris deciphered Minoan Linear B as Mycenaean Greek, it was a landmark achievement that opened the doors of understanding to a previously closed world. Ancient Mycenaean Greek is written communication that represents the initial stages of writing in the Western world. This was the dawn of modern man.

Ventris, an amateur classical scholar whose profession was actually that of an architect, was -- after the initial decipherment -- assisted in his efforts by John Chadwick, a Greek philologist at Cambridge University, culminating in the joint publication of the pioneering Documents in Mycenaean Greek. [4] That publication enabled a much greater understanding of our common historical "written heritage". Ventris and Chadwick (and also previous Linear B researchers such as Alice Kober) thus revealed to us some of the mysteries of the origins of writing in Western Civilization. Andrew Robinson wrote as follows about this singular achievement:

"Experts dubbed Ventris’s decipherment the Everest of Greek archaeology. An American classicist remarked, Mr. Ventris would have no trouble getting a job as scribe for King Minos. A French scholar [Georges Dumézil, upon hearing of the untimely early death of Ventris:], noted, devant les siècles son oeuvre est faite (in the centuries to come his reputation is secure). Today, his achievement ranks above even the nineteenth-century reading of Egyptian hieroglyphic and Babylonian cuneiform, or the late twentieth-century reading of the Mayan glyphs of Central America, as the greatest intellectual triumph in archaeological decipherment."

[4] Michael Ventris and John Chadwick, Documents in Mycenaean Greek, Volume I,  1956 (1st edition), corrected 1959; Volume II, 1973 (the 2nd edition consists of both volumes).

Most Popular Posts of All Time

Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1:
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2:
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.


    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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