Ancient writing systems in the Mediterranean

A critical guide to electronic resources


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    On August 31st starting at 3 p.m. the following seminar will be held online via Zoom (a registration fee is required to fund scholarships and ASOR activities)

    Seth Sanders (University of California, Davis)
    Who really invented the alphabet?
    Abstract. Despite its vast influence, we are still uncertain about precisely where the world’s most influential communication system came from. This talk will present new evidence for a strictly visual, rather than Egyptian-scribal-based linguistic basis for the alphabet’s origins, and for its informal use by non-scribal—and perhaps also scribal--users during its first 500 years. This evidence for the success of a new sort of non-scribal writing system outside of bureaucratic centers has historical analogies in the spread and development of the Greek alphabet and can help us reflect on the role of play and craft traditions in the invention and spread of new cultural phenomena.  Information: