Literacy in India

Lakshmi Srinivas lsrinivas at YAHOO.COM
Tue Mar 28 11:37:55 UTC 2000

Steve Farmer <saf at SAFARMER.COM> wrote:

> It appears that Near Eastern archaeology has not
> turned up even "one example of tokens regarded in
> hypothesis as prototypes of logograms other than
> numbers".

This is from the foreword to her book "Before Writing"
by Prof. William H Hallo wherein he recounts some of
the objections to Schmandt-Besserat's hypothesis,
since its original appearance in the '70's.

> I wonder, since it reverses what I understand of her
> central thesis.

Some of these objections perhaps do not reverse her
central thesis as you put it; the hypothesis merely
gets limited to numeracy.

> In a number of papers going back to the 70s,
> Schmandt-Besserat repeatedly argues that
> there are *direct* links between the shapes of these
> tokens and the earliest forms of Sumerian cuneiform
> writing -- not only of numbers).

Yes. There have been objections and reservations too
from people such as S.J. Lieberman, I.J. Gelb, M.J.
Shendge among others.

Thanks and Warm Regards,


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