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Last Writing: Script Obsolescence in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Mesoamerica

"Introduction: setting the questions By any measure, the creation and development of writing was a cybernetic advance with far-reaching consequences. It allowed writers to communicate with readers who were distant in time and space, extended the storage capacity of human knowledge, including information that ranged from mundane accounting to sacred narrative, bridged visual and auditory worlds by linking icons with meaningful sound, and offered an enduring means of displaying and manipulating assertions about a wide variety of matters.1 In part, the first writing attracts attention because it contributes to a teleological narrative of progress (Trigger 1998: 42). The invention of writing is thought, with good justification, to undergird and enable present-day society. In its more developed forms, it is indispensable to bureaucracy, propaganda, and administration."

Author(s):  Houston, Stephen; Baines, John; Cooper, Jerrold
Format:  Article
Publisher:  Oxford Eprints
Publication City:  Oxford
Date:  2005
Source:  Comparative Studies in Society and History
Volume Info:  2003
Volume:  45
Number:  3
Pages:  430-479