By Denise Schmandt-Besserat

ISBN-10: 0292713347

ISBN-13: 9780292713345

Denise Schmandt-Besserat opened a huge new bankruptcy within the heritage of literacy while she confirmed that the cuneiform script invented within the old close to East within the overdue fourth millennium BC--the world's oldest identified method of writing--derived from an archaic counting gadget. Her discovery, which she released in prior to Writing: From Counting to Cuneiform and the way Writing took place, used to be largely mentioned in expert journals and the preferred press. In 1999, American Scientist selected How Writing happened as one of many "100 or so Books that formed a Century of Science."

In When Writing Met Art, Schmandt-Besserat expands her historical past of writing into the visible realm of communique. utilizing examples of old close to japanese writing and masterpieces of artwork, she indicates that among 3500 and 3000 BC the conventions of writing--everything from its linear association to its semantic use of the shape, dimension, order, and site of signs--spread to the making of artwork, leading to works of art that awarded complicated visible narratives instead of the repetitive motifs came across on preliterate artwork items. Schmandt-Besserat then demonstrates art's reciprocal influence at the improvement of writing. She indicates how, starting in 2700-2600 BC, the inclusion of inscriptions on funerary and votive paintings items emancipated writing from its unique accounting functionality. to meet its new function, writing advanced to duplicate speech; this in flip made it attainable to assemble, manage, and synthesize limitless quantities of data; and to maintain and disseminate info throughout time and house.

Schmandt-Besserat's pioneering research of the interface among writing and artwork records a key turning element in human background, whilst of our such a lot basic info media reciprocally elevated their capacities to speak. whilst writing met paintings, literate civilization was once born.

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Extra resources for When Writing Met Art: From Symbol to Story

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Seal 57 shows how status markers in a literate glyptic composition were as effective at encoding information in a visual narrative scene as the determinative signs in a text. The horned headdresses match the star-shaped sign dingir, which highlights a divine name in a cuneiform text. The size disparity between minor and major figures in art 38 how writing shaped art corresponds to the value difference between small and large wedges in text. The busy flounced dresses of Enki and the first minor god are reminiscent of the gunu form, in which signs are covered with parallel strokes to express a greater order of magnitude.

Conclusion The evolution of glyptic art matches that of ceramic painting. The composition of seals enables a closer analysis of the genesis of narrative art in Mesopotamia, because unlike pottery painting, which was discontinued for several centuries during the proto-literate period, glyptic art experienced no interruption. The changes in both crafts illustrate writing’s profound impact on Mesopotamian culture. In fact, they demonstrate that literacy brought about fundamental conceptual transformations.

21, d. Courtesy German Archaeology Institute, Division Baghdad. the Uruk ruler as he leads the festival procession in full attire, followed by his retinue (fig. 2). ) plants, and 16 vessels filled with offerings, constituting the longest and most elaborate Near Eastern proto-literate composition known. The scene is generally interpreted as representing the sacred marriage of Inanna, the goddess of love, to Dumuzi, her consort. 6 The upper frieze illustrates the moment when the priest-king, play- 44 how writing shaped art ing the part of the bridegroom, is greeted by a high priestess, standing for Inanna.

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When Writing Met Art: From Symbol to Story by Denise Schmandt-Besserat


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