“My shorthand title for this book is ‘the pantheon of decipherers’ because Robinson focuses so insistently on the impassioned geniuses at the centre of various decipherments. If you want stories about heroes, here they are. Robinson begins by outlining three successful decipherments: the decipherment of hieroglyphics, the decipherment of Linear B, the script used in the Bronze Age by the Mycenaean Greeks, and the decipherment of the Mayan glyphs. In the rest of the book Robinson goes on to talk about decipherments that haven’t been successful and scripts that haven’t yet been deciphered: Linear A, the ancient Mesoamerican script called Zapotec, and Rongorongo, the Easter Island script, just to name a few that he goes through. It’s really a book for people who love not necessarily the history of any particular decipherment, but the idea of decipherment as a code-cracking exercise. I’m one of those people. I love crossword puzzles, figuring out all the clues and getting the whole puzzle exactly right. And this is a book that very much celebrates that impulse.” Read more...
The best books on Hieroglyphics
Diane Greco Josefowicz,