Sign, Symbol, and Script

Sign, Symbol, and Script

Origins of Written Communications and the Birth of the Alphabet

Streaming Video - 2005
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Written language is arguably humankind's most important invention. This delightfully accessible documentary uses maps, tables, artifacts, and copious examples to trace the progression of communication through its six stages: gestures, picture writing, pictograms, ideograms, phonograms, and acrophonic characters. Through detailed narration, the program explores topics such as the function of tokens, wall paintings, and wampum; the flowering of Egyptian hieroglyphs, Mesopotamian cuneiform, and Chinese ideograms; the influence of Ugaritic cuneiform and Sinaitic script; and the metamorphosis of the Phoenician alphabet into the Latin characters used today.


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