LINGUIST List 10.251

Wed Feb 17 1999

Confs: Origins of Writing/Image,Symbol,Script

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

Please keep conferences announcement as short as you can; LINGUIST will not post conference announcements which in our opinion are excessively long.


  1. Peter T. Daniels, Origins of Writing Symposium

Message 1: Origins of Writing Symposium

Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 22:46:07 -0500
From: Peter T. Daniels <>
Subject: Origins of Writing Symposium

The Center for Ancient Studies at the University of Pennsylvania is
pleased to announce our Second Annual Symposium, made possible in part
by a grant from the Helen Clay Frick Foundation:

"The Multiple Origins of Writing: Image, Symbol, and Script"

March 26th and 27th, 1999

Rainey Auditorium
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
33rd and Spruce Streets

The invention of writing was fundamental to the evolutionary course of
human culture. Even shortly after its invention, its importance was
remarked on in the myths of Sumer and Egypt. In the past two decades
substantial new evidence has lead to a more complex understanding of
achievement. This conference brings together experts in the earliest
writing systems. For two days they will present and discuss their
comparing systems as well as the symbolic and social environments in
they evolved.


Friday, March 26, 1999


9:00-9:30: Welcome and Introductory Remarks
vHolly Pittman, Associate Professor, Department of the History of Art,
University of Pennsylvania
Director, Center for Ancient Studies

9:30-10:15: General Introduction to Theories of Origins of Writing
Peter Damerow, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin

10:15-10:30: The Iconicity of Writing
Anne-Marie Christin, Professor, University of Paris 7, Director, Centre
d'etude de l'ecriture



10:45-11:30: Early Egyptian writing and its social context
John Baines, Professor of Egyptology, Oxford University

11:30-12:15: The Origins of Writing in Ancient Egypt
Pascal Vernus, Director of Studes, L'Ecole practique des hautes etudes.

12:15-1:00: The Icon in the Role of the Classifier: On the Semiotics of
the Egyptian Determinative System.
Orly Goldwasser, Head of the Department of Ancient Near Eastern
and Cultures. The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Lunch 1-2:30:

Box lunches will be available for those who reserve one in advance.

In Lower Egyptian Gallery

The Near East

2:30-3:15: The Role of Art in the Origins of Writing: Sumer
Holly Pittman

3:15-4:00: The Origins of Proto-Cuneiform
Hans Nissen: Professor, Freie Universitat, Berlin

4:00-4:45: The Origins of Proto-Elamite Script
Robert Englund, Associate Professor, Department of Near Eastern
and Literatures, University of California at Los Angeles


5:30-8:00: Museum Cafe

Saturday, March 27th 1999


Indus Valley

9:15-10:00: Origins of the Indus Script
Gregory L. Possehl, Professor, Dept of Anthropology, University of


10:00-10:45: The Archaeological Background of Writing in Early China
Louisa Huber, Harvard University

10:45-11:30: Comments on the Origin of Writing in China
William G. Boltz , Professor, University of Washington (Seattle)

11:30-12:15: Another Story of the Origin of Writing in China
Victor Mair, Professor, Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies,
University of Pennsylvania

12:15-1:00: Script, Image and Literacy in the Old World and Asia
Piotr Michalowski, George G. Cameron Professor of Ancient Near Eastern
Civilizations, Dept. of Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan,

Lunch 1:-2:30

Box lunches will be available for those who reserve them in advance.

In Lower Egyptian Gallery

2:30-3:15: The Early Scripts of Mesoamerica
John Justeson, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
University of New York at Albany

3:15-4:00: Alphabetology
Barry B. Powell, Bascom-Halls Professor of Classics at the University

4:00-4:45: A Study of Origins
Peter T. Daniels, Independent Scholar, University of Chicago and New
York City.

This symposium is free and open to the public.

For more information, or to reserve a box lunch, please contact Sarah
Kupperberg at Box lunches will cost $11, and
reservations must be received by Friday, March 18th.

Holly Pittman <>
Associate Professor, History of Art
 Jaffe Bldg (215-898-3251)
Director, Center for Ancient Studies
 University of Pennsylvania Museum (215-573-6099)
Peter T. Daniels
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