New Book: Understanding Relations Between Scripts II: Early Alphabets

72479128_10157815997633535_8401119613395402752_nThe first book I’ve worked on is now available. Understanding Relations Between Scripts II: Early Alphabets, edited by me and Philippa Steele, is the first book to emerge from the CREWS research project into ancient writing. It’s based on a conference held in 2017 and includes chapters from a number of experts on early writing.

Thanks to EU European Research Council funding, which also funded the conference this is based on and pays my wages, the whole thing is available open access. You can download it on the Publications page of this site.

If you’d prefer a physical copy, you can get those from the Oxbow website. They’re currently discounted!

Contexts of and Relations between Early Writing Systems (CREWS) is a project funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 677758), and based in the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge. Understanding Relations Between Scripts II: Early Alphabets is the first volume in this series, bringing together ten experts on ancient writing, languages and archaeology to present a set of diverse studies on the early development of alphabetic writing systems and their spread across the Levant and Mediterranean during the second and first millennia BC. By taking an interdisciplinary perspective, it sheds new light on alphabetic writing not just as a tool for recording language but also as an element of culture.


1. Introduction: Issues in studying early alphabets
Philip J. Boyes and Philippa M. Steele
2. A ʽtop-downʼ re-invention of an old form: Cuneiform alphabets in context
Silvia Ferrara
3. Variation in alphabetic cuneiform: Rethinking the ‘Phoenician’ inscription
from Sarepta
Philip J. Boyes
4. Ancient Egypt and the earliest known stages of alphabetic writing
Ben Haring
5. Much ado about an implement! – the Phoenicianising of Early Alphabetic
Reinhard G. Lehmann
6. Vowel representation in the Archaic Greek and Old Aramaic scripts:
A comparative orthographic and phonological examination
Roger D. Woodard
7. Mother or sister? Rethinking the origins of the Greek alphabet and
its relation to the other ‘western’ alphabets
Willemijn Waal
8. The development of Greek alphabets: Fluctuations and standardisations
Philippa M. Steele
9. Between scripts and languages: Inscribed intricacies from geometric and
archaic Greek contexts
Giorgos Bourogiannis
10. The matter of voice – the Umbrian perspective
Karin W. Tikkanen
11. Writings in network? The case of Palaeohispanic scripts
Coline Ruiz Darasse

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