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by: Sara Rahimzadeh

Cuneiform ENG 3803

Sara Rahimzadeh
GPA 3.408

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About this Document

Cuneiform Hieroglyphics Tablets; papyrus
History of Text
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sara Rahimzadeh on Thursday September 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENG 3803 at Florida State University taught by in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views.


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Date Created: 09/22/16
Take Notes  The signifier is the sound; the signified is the image we relate to it. Lascaux cave paintings  Animals, birds o Horses  Use of the cave texture  Clay; charcoal; blood?; ash o Burnt wood as a technology  Why would they represent signs? o Communicate o Pastime o History  Pictogram cannot really express abstract thinking  Marriage was included because you were sharing property th  Full writing – Sumerian cuneiform 4 mil BCE o 4000 BCE – 3001 BCE o Tigris, Euphrates, The Nile  Writing is an extension of private property  Elite members of society were the only ones who could read and write it.  They added more and more symbols to make it difficult; for control o Probably all rich merchants Evolution  Pictographic – 4 mil BCE  More abstract o Representations of a thing o They called it a script o Medium was the clay tablet  The difference/relationship between sounds and marks  Geometric shapes  Used a reed tool to make indentions. The old one was made with a stick (less civilized)  Walter Ong – the creation of complex, structured thought through writing  The clay tablet can be remade, written over.  Primary focus – accountancy (95% that survived) o Temporary o Instant to instant because they change nd  You don’t see kiln pieces until 2 mil BCE  Clay table is ephemeral medium o The use of the medium is a part of the meaning o A stone tablet has more meaning than a clay tablet  Nomadic to some degree o Temple bureaucrats; not just merchants  Clay tablets varied in size. o Impose constraints on size of script and the stylus used o A MEDIUM IMPOSES CONSTRAINTS  Writing wouldn’t exist without resistance 2 o You can’t push down on something without it having push back. To use a stylus, there must be something pushing back Papyrus Roll  From Egypt – that’s where it grows (Papyrus) o 3100 BCE – 2900 BCE o They existed before that, but they didn’t last  Unique characteristics o Thinner, lighter in color o Rolled, transportable o Length of compositions o Different stylus tools; thinner, brushes, pen  Process of making a papyrus roll o Peeled the outer layer o Cut the pith, or middle, into strips o Soak it in water, to get most of the sugar out o Lay the strips of papyrus vertically and horizontally  Hieroglyphics o More complex shapes o 19 century – deciphering o Rosetta Stone is a peace treaty between 3 languages  Ancient Greek – this is how we translated it.  Demotic  Egyptian Hieroglyphics  Our Latin alphabet is descended from this. 3  Most change between Phoenician, to Greek, to Roman alphabet  Egyptian empire lasted almost 2700 years.  Papyrus is archival; not ephemeral  It’s a type of technology to write to keep  Used by the Greeks and Romans o One of the most essential and important text technologies  Library of Alexandria – every holding was a papyrus roll.  A factor in the creation of the modern library 4


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