Undeciphered scripts have long tantalized the public, whether it’s the possibility of hearing the voices of ancient peoples or the puzzle solver’s taste for the challenges posed by breaking codes. Here, Andrew Robinson investigates the most famous examples, beginning with the stories of three great decipherments: Egyptian hieroglyphs, Maya glyphs, and the Minoan Linear B clay tablets. He then covers the important scripts that have yet to be cracked, such as the Etruscan alphabet and Rongorongo from Easter Island.
One of the greatest archaelological challenges is deciphering the texts left behind by ancient civilizations. Deciphering the codes of the ancient Egyptians, glyphs fo the Maya, and clay tablets of the Minoan civilization of Crete has revealed how those people lived and died. Robinson's stirring account of the translation of these texts leads to the ongoing story of scripts that have confounded code breakers since the Renaissance, including the Indus script of Pakistan and the ancient country of Etruria. Rife with photos and illustrations, this text provides a compelling look at the history of linguistics and the story of scientists who succeeded in solving the mysteries of these ancient scripts.