Minoan Linear A: How Do You Crack the Code to a Lost Ancient Script?

Deciphering Linear B, the earliest form of Greek, was a history-changing achievement, but decoding the older Linear A would open a new window on the origins of European culture. How do you go about deciphering the script of a wholly different language that was lost more than 3,000 years ago? Linguist and archaeologist Dr Brent[…]

A History of Language, Script, and Symbol in West Africa

West Africa is a place of great diversity – in language, in writing, in the hugely varied means of recording information and passing it on. By Dr. Marion Wallace (left) and Dr. Janet Topp Fargion (right)Wallace: Lead Curator, Africa CollectionsFargion: Lead Curator, World and Traditional MusicBritish Library Introduction West Africa is home to well over[…]

Texting in Ancient Mayan Hieroglyphs

Because Mayan hieroglyphs have yet to be encoded, the ancient Mayan emperor K’inich Janaab’ Pakal would have to stick to emoji—but that’s about to change. If King Tut were around today, could he send a text in Egyptian hieroglyphics? Yes, with the right font and keyboard. That’s because the writing system of the pharaohs has[…]