Class 01 intro

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  • Today's topic: What is Writing? Distinguishing Notation, Pictography & Phonetic Script // Discuss merits of both texts. // For today's class, you should have read Robinson, pp. 7-17 and 36-6
  • The Wehrmacht Enigma. Wheels/rotors in BG, then lampboard, then keyboard, then plugboard (hidden)
  • The Enigma required a list of daily key settings, which were written in Navy codebooks. Printed in red water-soluble ink on pink paper so that they could easily be destroyed if they were at risk of being seized by the enemy. The above codebook was taken from captured U-boat U-505.
  • D-Day -- Allied Invasion of France, June 6th, 1944.
  • Navajo Code-Talkers, Solomon Islands, December 1943. It is the lack of knowledge of their languages that prevents our full understanding of Etruscan and Meroitic.
  • I snapped a photo of this at a public bathroom at a prominent university in New Haven, Connecticut. I particularly like the spelling of "recieve".
  • Der Mann liebt die Katze // El hombre ama el Gato // Uyahkun miis maak
  • Written by a young Yukaghir girl (NE Siberia). The pine trees represent people. "c" is the writer (female), "b" the addressee (male), with an X connecting them. This X and two lines of communication are cut by line "X" emanating from woman "a" with whom "b" now lives. But "c" still dwells on him (the cloudy line) even as another boy "d" dotes on her. Charming, but never (it appears) intended as an actual letter, but rather a communal game sort of like "Pictionary".
  • Houghton Ledger. The reporter James Howard acquired the ledger during the 1870s and bound it together (in Moroccan leather) with an illustrated introduction before selling it to a New York book dealer. According to Howard's introduction, the ledger was discovered in a funerary tipi after the Little Big Horn battle (June 25, 1876). - Howard titled the book The Pictorial Autobiography of Half Moon, an Uncpapa Sioux Chief. It came to Harvard as part of a bequest in 1930.This layered document reflects a history of violent interactions between Lakota Sioux and Anglo-Americans as they fought for control of the Great Plains during the 1860s and 1870s - Now Houghton MS. Am 2337, the book is the focus of ongoing consultation and research by Houghton Library, the Peabody Museum, and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
  • Pictographic ‘letter’ written by the Cheyenne Indian Turtle-Following-his-Wife to his son Little-Man. William Dyer. "Here's $53, Come home (to me)". Late 19 th -c.
  • - Pictorial roster of 84 families in the band of Chief Big-Road, Oglala Sioux, Dakota. - The drawing was submitted to Major McLaughlin (the Indian Agent at Standing Rock Agency, in the Dakota Territory) sometime shortly before 1883. It was collected by Rev. S. D. Hinman, who states that the translations of the names were made by the agency interpreter and "although not as complete as might be, are, in the whole, satisfactory". - The roster is now in the National Anthropological Archives of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington.
  • - Pictorial roster of 84 families in the band of Chief Big-Road, Oglala Sioux, Dakota. - The drawing was submitted to Major McLaughlin (the Indian Agent at Standing Rock Agency, in the Dakota Territory) sometime shortly before 1883. It was collected by Rev. S. D. Hinman, who slates that the translations of the names were made by the agency interpreter and "although not as complete as might be, are, in the whole, satisfactory". - The roster is now in the National Anthropological Archives of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington.
  • - Each chief has a decorated pipe and pouch in front of him, as well as distinct face paint. - High-ranking warriors have 3 horizontal red bands and warclubs in front of them. Others have only 1 band and no club. - BLUE = Iron (see 46 Iron Hawk, 76 Iron White Man, 81 Iron Boy – but also contrast 62 Blue Cloud, 79 Blue Hawk). Intriguingly, Blue Cloud is "Arapaho" though here a personal name rather than the ethnonym. - Note consistent difference between CROW (51, 59, 78), HAWK (47, 53, 73, 79) and EAGLE (53, 69). The raptorial hawk, its wings spread, is certainly the bird in the Houghton Ledger. - Note the jagged lines twice translated as "Sacred" (64, 78). Elsewhere, they are translated as "Mystic" and "Medicine" in addition to "Thunder", raising the possibility that the Houghton Ledger figure may have been "Sacred Hawk" or "Medicine Hawk".
  • Chestnuts. Butt
  • The Narmer Palette (ca. 3100 B.C.)
  • Pictography : A representational/pictorial sign is used to communicate the word for that object ( K'AHK' "fire", CHAHK "Thunder God") Rebus : A representational/pictorial sign is used to communicate the sound of the word for that object ( TIL "tapir" for til- "to burn") Phoneticism : A sign is used to communicate sound only ( ti, li, wi, na )
  • Contador maior i tesorero. Tauantinsuyu Quipoc
  • decimal numeration / cord-color, knot-type and turn all encode information / invention of zero (one of three times in history) / most were burned by the Inca themselves during the Civil War, and later by the Spanish in attempts to extirpate idolatry.
  • decimal numeration / cord-color, knot-type, and turn all encode information / invention of zero (one of three times in history) / most were burned by the Inca themselves during the Civil War, and later by the Spanish in attempts to extirpate idolatry.
  • English has other writing systems. Consider Braille. What our alphabet represents with 2 letters (s+h) Braille represents with 1. There's even a single sign for the whole word for , written with 3 signs in our alphabet.
  • Gold Anodized Aluminum Plaques (1972 Pioneer 10, 1973 Pioneer 11). (1) hyperfine transition of neutral hydrogen, (2) silhouette of spacecraft (for scale), (3) humans, (4) position of sun relative to 14 pulsars and the centre of the galaxy, (5) planets of solar system with binary relative distances. "Woah! Check out the Naked People!"
  • Class 01 intro

    1. 11. Jean-François Champollion (1790 - 1832) Deciphered the Egyptian hieroglyphic, hieratic and demotic scripts in 1822.
    2. 12. <ul><li>Yuri Knorosov (1922 - 1999) </li></ul>Deciphered Mayan writing in 1952-1958, based on a phonetic key provided by the 16th-century Franciscan friar Diego de Landa.
    3. 18. Where do we find writing in our world? For what purposes do we use writing today?
    4. 19. “ ... God ... in mysterious Sinai’s awful cave To Man the wond’rous art of writing gave ...” - William Blake, Jerusalem (1820)
    5. 24. (With thanks to Kendra Brown, and apologies to Michael Coe 1999:18) Bend One Knee Swiss Cheese Zone Excitement Ahead Harry Potter and the Forehead Caterpillar No Boomerangs Allowed Sasquatch Crossing
    6. 40. Z O Ö L O G Y
    7. 41. Pictography
    8. 42. ‘ Yukaghir Love Letter’ (c. 1892) - See Robinson, p.57 b a c d x
    9. 45. Chief Big Road's Pictorial Roster, ca. 1883 Photograph courtesy of the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington
    10. 46. Translated Names from Chief Big Road's Pictorial Roster: A ‘Rosetta Stone’ for Plains Pictography? fr. Mallery, 1887, Pictographs of the North American Indians , p.175
    11. 48. Olmec Colossal Head 2, San Lorenzo (ca. 1200-400 BC ) Three Macaws?
    12. 49. Pictography and name of the Aztec Emperor Ahuitzotl ( AD 1486-1502)
    13. 50. Images of the ahuitzotl ‘river otter’
    14. 51. EYE SAW (n.) ANT ROSE I saw (v.) aunt Rose. Rebus
    15. 52. EYE CAN KNOT BEE MAID 2 PICK TIE + KNEE FLOWERS I cannot be made to pick tiny flowers.
    16. 53. Rebus letter written by Lewis Carroll to a young friend (c. 1869)
    17. 54. Rebus letter written by the twelve-year-old JRR Tolkien (Bodleian Library, Oxford)
    18. 55. M EYE DEER OWL FRANCE HISS My dear ol’ Francis...
    19. 57. ‘ Narmer’ in the Red Crown of Lower Egypt, preceded by his scribe and general. His name is written nr-mr , an abbreviation of nr-mr-tʒ- ( w ), perhaps meaning ‘Livid Catfish’.
    20. 58. Names and titles of ‘Narmer’ on an ivory label, found in his probable tomb at Abydos
    21. 59. Pictography, Rebus and Phoneticism in the name of K’ahk’ Tiliw Chan Chahk , ruler of Naranjo ( AD 693-728) K’AHK’-TIL-wi CHAN-na-CHAHK K’AHK’-TIL-wi CHAN-na-CHAHK
    22. 60. Quipu and Quipucamayoc (Quipu keepers)
    23. 63. Aztec Number Signs in the Matricula de Tributos
    24. 65. P – U – SH O – N – C – E FOR H – E – L – P
    25. 67. I N C A S E O F F I R E O R E M E R G E N C Y U S E S T A I R W A Y S

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