||In 1992, the University of Texas Press published Before Writing, Volume I: From Counting to Cuneiform and Before Writing, Volume II: A Catalog of Near Eastern Tokens. In these two volumes, Denise Schmandt-Besserat set forth her groundbreaking theory that the cuneiform script invented in the Near East in the late fourth millennium B.C. - the world's oldest known system of writing - derived from anarchaic counting device. How Writing Came About draws material from both volumes to present Schmandt-Besserat's theory for a wide public and classroom audience. Based on the analysis and interpretation of a selection of 8,000 tokens or counters from 116 sites in Iran, Iraq, the Levant, and Turkey, it documents the immediate precursor of the cuneiform script.
|Editors Note 1
||Draws on the author's earlier works, Before Writing, Volume I: From Counting to Cuneiform and Before Writing, Volume II: A Catalog of Near Eastern Tokens to present her theory that the world's oldest system of writing derived from a counting device. Analyzes and interprets evidence of tokens and counters from the Near and Middle East, examining uses of the tokens, the evolution of symbols, and counting and the emergence of writing. Includes drawings of the tokens, and a glossary. For students. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.