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Re: [ANE-2] SV: Reading revolutions

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  • Brian Colless
    I have only just opened up the messages in this thread. ... Yes, I am happy to support George Mendenhall s decipherment, of the Byblos inscriptions, because
    Message 1 of 42 , Sep 2, 2010
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      I have only just opened up the messages in this thread.

      Peter Daniels has said:
      > From the Levant are the so-called pseudu-hieroglyphs of Byblos ...
      > These resemble both
      > Egyptian hieroglyphs and early forms of the Canaanite alphabet, but
      > in the
      > absence of a bilingual - or a reasonable virtual bilingual - they
      > cannot be
      > interpreted.
      >

      Also:
      > I've certainly never endorsed Mendenhall's "solution," even though
      > in 1988 he claimed that I had (after I debunked it in his presence
      > at the 1987 AOS). It's Brian who endorses it to a degree.
      >
      >

      Yes, I am happy to support George Mendenhall's decipherment, of the
      Byblos inscriptions, because there are other texts on which it can be
      tested, from Egypt, Sinai, Syria-Palestine, Italy (in my Abr-Nahrain
      studies, and on my CRYPTCRACKER and COLLESSEUM websites), and now
      Jamaica (the Maya acrophonic syllabary was not autochthonous, as Peter
      believes; it was preceded by an "Olmec" script in a context of
      cylinder seals and pyramids, ideas which were borrowed from the ANE,
      and the Canaanites would have been the transmitters).

      I can not say we have a bilingual document (as we have for the proto-
      alphabet in the Sinai sphinx statuette) but self-authenticating
      inscriptions are coming to light:
      the Megiddo Signet Ring is my "tripod", with NH.TM (sealed) and the
      name Megiddo;
      there are lamps from Egypt and Syria-Palestine with the word NIRU
      (lamp) on them, and other words like N`M (nice), T.B (good), `GL
      (round), NGHT (bright);
      a mare and its foal pictured on a disc that says "The foal (`uwalu)
      brings (yibi) a gift (zabuda)" [note the nominative and accusative
      case endings].

      Mendenhall and I are also promoters of the argument that the origin of
      the Bronze-Age West- Semitic alphabet (consonantary) must be discussed
      in the light of its predecessor (from as early as 2300 BCE) the West-
      Semitc syllabary.

      Notice that in all the discussions about the Wadi el-Hol inscription
      (sic, and Orly Goldwasser seems to agree with me on this point at
      least) and the Sinai proto-alphabetic inscriptions, the idea that the
      Canaanite syllabary (which includes more than half of the signs found
      in the consonantary) might have spawned it is not countenanced, and
      disregarded entirely. And we find earnest epigraphers trying to read
      syllabic inscriptions as alphabetic (Megiddo ring, Deir Rifa amulet).

      Reinhold Lehmann is right:
      "anyone who deals with those scripts wants to be the one who solved
      them".

      Yes, and I (like Fred Woudhuizen and Jan Best) am claiming to have
      cracked several scripts from the Mediterranean world, but actually I
      have never been the first to make a breakthrough; I take up someone
      else's work and try to tidy it up.

      An example (raised by Graham Hagens and taken up by Peter Daniels in
      this discussion) is the Syllabary of Cyprus (used for Greek in the
      Iron Age). It assisted Michael Ventris in cracking the Linear B code,
      as Peter reminds us; but it was constructed in the Bronze Age on the
      basis of Linear A (which also produced Linear B for writing Greek).
      All these Cretan and Cyprian syllabaries stemmed from a pictophonic
      syllabic script constructed acrophonically on the model of the West
      Semitic syllabary.

      My tables of signs are available for inspection in the ANCIENT SCRIPTS
      section at:

      http://sites.google.com/site/collesseum/

      I am certainly now obliged to respond to Orly Goldwasser's theory on
      the origin of the alphabet (following Anson Rainey and Chris
      Rollston). My two basic points are: the presence of the Canaanite
      syllabary in the Nile Delta (the Hyksos realm) and in Thebes and in
      the turquoise region of Sinai, alongside the proto-alphabet; and the
      fact that the Sinai sphinx says' beloved of Hathor' in hieroglyphs and
      'beloved of Ba`alat' in the WS pictophonic proto-alphabet, shows that
      one or more of the miners and metalworkers (his name is actually 'Asa
      bn kr, found in four different inscriptions) could deal with Egyptian
      language and writing. Of course, I will be referring to my
      translations of these Sinai texts, instead of speaking in generalities.

      But there has been a breakthrough, causing a paradigm shift; the
      discovery of a new Proto-Canaanite inscription at Timna has led Stefan
      Wimmer to accept my hypothesis from 1988, that the Sh-sign was the
      hieroglyph for the sun, with one or two protective serpents.

      http://cryptcracker.blogspot.com/2010/04/timna-inscriptions-copper-mines-at.html

      Yours ever humble, never known to grumble,

      Brian Colless

      Massey University, New Zealand

      On 28/08/2010, at 10:26 AM, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

      > I've certainly never endorsed Mendenhall's "solution," even though
      > in 1988 he
      > claimed that I had (after I debunked it in his presence at the 1987
      > AOS). It's
      > Brian who endorses it to a degree.
      >
      > What I was objecting to was your statement "Although the Ugaritic
      > script is
      > attested earlier than other examples of the West Semitic script used
      > to write
      > specific, identified languages" -- aren't the "Proto-Canaanite"
      > votary notes and
      > such identifiably in the Northwest Semitic language?--
      > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
      >
      > ________________________________
      > From: Niels Peter Lemche <npl@...>
      > To: "ANE-2@yahoogroups.com" <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Fri, August 27, 2010 12:06:28 PM
      > Subject: SV: SV: Fw: Re: SV: [ANE-2] SV: Reading revolutions
      >
      >
      >
      > Dear Peter,
      >
      > I am absolutely no specialist to this field, but am I totally wrong
      > that in
      > spite of Sass, there are still problems with the Proto Sinaitic
      > script? And what
      > about Byblos? Has that been cracked?
      >
      > And what can we say about the content of inscriptions in these
      > alphabets, if
      > they are not totally readable -- or are they?
      >
      > If it was to point out that Ugaritic is based on some proto-
      > Phoenician alphabet,
      > we are in total agreement.
      >
      > As to Byblos, you seem to follow Mendenhall (identification of
      > individual signs)
      > but is his interpretation generally accepted?
      >
      > By the way, you seem less certain in your CANE article (I, pp.
      > 91-2): From the
      > Levant are the so-called pseudu-hieroglyphs of Byblos ... These
      > resemble both
      > Egyptian hieroglyphs and early forms of the Canaanite alphabet, but
      > in the
      > absence of a bilingual - or a reasonable virtual bilingual - they
      > cannot be
      > interpreted.
      >
      > This was written after Sass 1988, but of course before Hamilton
      > 2006. So a
      > little clarification would be good.
      >
      > Niels Peter Lemche
      >
      > -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
      > Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] P� vegne
      > af Peter T.
      > Daniels
      >
      > Sendt: den 27 augusti 2010 16:25
      > Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      > Emne: Re: SV: Fw: Re: SV: [ANE-2] SV: Reading revolutions
      >
      > ?!?!?!?!
      >
      > "Proto-Canaanite" is attested centuries earlier than Ugaritic, and
      > it shows all
      > (except possibly ghayn) the Ugaritic letters!
      >
      > All the materials were collected by Sass in 1988, and by Hamilton
      > (including
      > el-Hol) in 2006.
      >
      > F. M. Cross studied the materials approximately once each decade
      > from the 1950s
      > on.--
      > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
      >
      > ________________________________
      > From: Niels Peter Lemche <npl@...>
      > To: "ANE-2@yahoogroups.com" <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Fri, August 27, 2010 9:48:03 AM
      > Subject: SV: Fw: Re: SV: [ANE-2] SV: Reading revolutions
      >
      >
      >
      > Richard Whiting, among other things, wrote:
      >
      > No, the Ugaritic script was a straw man inserted by NP. The original
      > article under discussion claimed that the West Semitic script
      > (Hebrew/Phoenician/Aramaic) was developed by merchants. NP claimed
      > that
      > this was shown to be false by the Ugaritic alphabet without further
      > elaboration. Presumably NP believes that there were no merchants at
      > Ugarit, the only circumstance in which it could conclusively be proved
      > that the Ugaritic script was not developed by merchants. This is
      > despite
      > the fact that at the time Ugarit was the main site of import and
      > export on
      > the Eastern Mediterranean.
      >
      > NPL: Now it was so that international trade was done in Akkadian,
      > therefore
      > Bob's argument is a bit redundant.
      >
      > BW:
      >
      > In any case, the Ugaritic script is not a separate invention, but
      > merely
      > an adaptation of the contemporary West Semitic script to cuneiform.
      > Although the Ugaritic script is attested earlier than other examples
      > of
      > the West Semitic script used to write specific, identified
      > languages, the
      > possibility that the development went from the cuneiform to the linear
      > script is unlikely in the extreme. Further, the use of the Ugaritic
      > script is, as NP notes, mature in that a wide range of text types are
      > found. This indicates that the West Semitic script itself is centuries
      > older than its adaptation to write Ugaritic.
      >
      > NPL: I agree but would like to hear from others if this is the
      > generally shared
      > opinion. And we still need evidence of a west-semitic alphabeth that
      > predates
      > the Ugaritic with "centuries." And the inclusion in Ugaritic of a
      > series of
      > sounds not represented in later alphabets may indicate that the
      > people who
      > created this script was also creative. But again, it would be nice
      > to have
      > something older than Ugaritic.
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >



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    • Graham Hagens
      Peter - thanks for your insightful responses to what Brian called by enigmatic note. It is probably time to stop before I get into more trouble. But just a
      Message 42 of 42 , Oct 27, 2010
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        Peter - thanks for your insightful responses to what Brian called by 'enigmatic' note.
        It is probably time to stop before I get into more trouble.
        But just a couple of remarks:
         
        Peter Daniels wrote:
         
        >And a Chinese person tells us that he can _get a general idea of_ a Japanese
        >newspaper article even though he knows no Japanese. In neither direction are
        >they _reading_ in the other language.

        Precisely my point: they are not reading the other language, they are absorbing the information in their own.
        As you know various trades achieve this all the time by means of technical symbolism. 
        In my profession I am frequently required to understand chemical data embedded within a text written in any one of a number of languages with which I am unfamiliar. 
        It is surprisingly easy to do.
        In the case of mathematics even more so.  Marshall McLuhan famously stated that the medium is the message: in technical literature symbolism becomes the medium.
         
        >>This carries the implication that humans would have kept looking for something
        >>like the alphabet for a long long time had it not emerged when it did.

        >Sorry, I cannot fathom this statement. What is "something like the alphabet"
        >that could have been "looked for"? Seems like _you're_ suggesting some sort of
        >superiority for an alphabet!
         
        Exactly.  And why not?
        Don't you think it's a little odd that such an idea might appear so out to lunch that an exclamation mark is required?
        What if we could design a system which would allow us all to communicate in our own languages and have others anywhere in the world absorb the information in theirs?
         
        Anyway, as I said.  Probably time to stop, we're a long way from the ANE now
         
        Graham Hagens
        Hamilton, ON 
         




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