World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Undeciphered writing systems

Article Id: WHEBN0010322382
Reproduction Date:

Title: Undeciphered writing systems  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Ancient inscriptions in Somalia, Byblos syllabary, Grapheme, Syllabary, Ge'ez language
Collection: Undeciphered Writing Systems
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Undeciphered writing systems

Many undeciphered writing systems date from several thousand years BC, though some more modern examples do exist. The term "writing systems" is used here loosely to refer to groups of glyphs which appear to have representational symbolic meaning, but which may include "systems" that are largely artistic in nature and are thus not examples of actual writing.

The difficulty in deciphering these systems can arise from a lack of known language descendants or from the languages being entirely isolated, from insufficient examples of text having been found and even (such as in the case of Vinča) from the question of whether the symbols actually constitute a writing system at all. Some researchers have made claims of being able to decipher certain writing systems, such as those of Epi-Olmec, Phaistos and Indus texts; but to date, these claims have not been widely accepted within the scientific community, or confirmed by independent researchers, for the writing systems listed here (unless otherwise specified).

Contents

  • Proto-writing 1
  • Bronze Age scripts 2
  • Mesoamerican scripts 3
  • South American scripts 4
  • Medieval and later scripts 5
  • Related concepts: texts that are not writing systems 6
  • Possible hoax undeciphered writing systems 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Proto-writing

Certain forms of proto-writing remain undeciphered and, because of a lack of evidence and linguistic descendants, it is quite likely that they will never be deciphered.

Bronze Age scripts

The following is a list of undeciphered scripts from the Bronze Age (3300 to 1200 BC).

Mesoamerican scripts

Many Mesoamerican writing systems have been discovered by archaeologists. Many of them remain undeciphered due to a lack of knowledge of the original language. These writing systems were used between 1000 BC and 1500 AD.

South American scripts

  • QuipuInca Empire, 15th century, is thought by some to have been a writing system, but is generally believed to be an accounting system.

Medieval and later scripts

Related concepts: texts that are not writing systems

One very similar concept is that of false writing systems, which appear to be writing but are not. False writing cannot be deciphered because it has no semantic meaning. These particularly include asemic writing created for artistic purposes. One prominent example is the Codex Seraphinianus.

Another similar concept is that of undeciphered cryptograms, or cipher messages. These are not writing systems per se, but a disguised form of another text. Of course any cryptogram is intended to be undecipherable by anyone except the intended recipient so vast numbers of these exist, but a few examples have become famous and are listed in the uncracked codes and ciphers category.

Possible hoax undeciphered writing systems

  • Voynich manuscript, estimated to have been created circa 1450-1520, based on illustrations contained within the manuscript. Recent carbon dating has dated it to the 15th century.[4] In terms of provenance, the earliest confirmed references to the work date only to the early 17th century.
  • Rohonc Codex, before 1838.

References

  1. ^ Vasil Ilyov. DISCOVERIES ABOUT THE LITERACY, LANGUAGE AND CULTURE OF THE ANCIENT MACEDONIANS
  2. ^ Pavel Serafimov. The Sitovo Inscription
  3. ^ Mel Copeland. Phrygian language
  4. ^ http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1516863.php/Mysterious-Voynich-manuscript-is-genuine-scientists-find

External links

  • Proto-Elamite (CDLI link)
  • The Cipherment of the Franks CasketAustin Simmons,
  • The Cipherment of the Franks CasketAustin Simmons, [Dead Link]
  • Vinča signs (The Old European Script: Further evidence - Shan M. M. Winn)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.