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15343Re: [ANE-2] Archeological Decipherment

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  • Peter T. Daniels
    Mar 30, 2014
      Can you point to a sizable corpus of undeciphered texts where a computational algorithm might be useful? IIRC Barber offered a mathematicization of what Kober and Ventris had done with Linear B. 
      --
      Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
      Jersey City


      From: Michael Matsko <msm@...>
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2014 11:16 AM
      Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Archeological Decipherment

       
      Peter,

      Thank you for your detailed and comprehensive response.

      To your question.  I am looking more for references to algorithmic aids to decipherment than stories of decipherment.  An incredible amount of work has been done in computer science with respect to natural language processing in the last 40 years and I am interested in finding out if anyone in the ANE community looking at ancient languages is using any of these techniques.

      Mike Matsko

      On Mar 30, 2014, at 9:19 AM, "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...> wrote:

       
      What exactly are you looking for? She doesn't talk about any actual decipherments, but presents some mathematical algorithms. The standard work has been Maurice Pope's volume from Thames & Hudson (it had different titles in the UK and US editions, and for the second edition too), which is reliable on the whole except that in the 2nd edition a reference is added in a footnote to my article on Hincks's decipherment of Akkadian but clearly he didn't even look at it, since the text continues to ascribe the achievement to Rawlinson. (For the demonstration that Rawlinson contributed almost nothing to the decipherment of cuneiform, see my article in the on-line Encyclopedia Iranica, which is at iranica.org.)

      The journalist Andrew Robinson's Lost Languages is a coffee table book mostly about undeciphered scripts but includes some information on decipherments. (It's considerably better than his earlier History of Writing.) He also wrote little biographies of Michael Ventris and of Thomas Young.

      You'll find lots of references to the primary publications of decipherments in my chapter in The World's Writing Systems (1996), and overviews in the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Archeology of the Near East and in Civilizations of the Ancient Near East (Sasson et al.).. 
      --
      Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...


      From: Michael Matsko <msm@...>
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, March 29, 2014 10:37 PM
      Subject: [ANE-2] Archeological Decipherment

       
      Does anyone know of a more recent study of archeological decipherment than E. J. W. Barber's 1974 Archeological Decipherment? I am aware of Kevin Knight's work (at USC's ISI) do not know of much else.

      Mike Matsko
      Arlington, VA
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