"Andrew Robinson has now followed up his beautifully illustrated The Story of Writing with a highly appropriate sequelLost Languages, on undeciphered scripts. Many, it seems likely, will never be deciphered ..."Sir Arthur C. Clarke, C.B.E.
A landmark study of the world's most important undeciphered writing systems and the current race to crack them
Maybe it's the tantalizing possibility of giving new voice to long-hushed peoples and civilizations. Perhaps it's the puzzle solver's delight in the mental challenges posed by breaking their codes. Whatever the reasons, the public has long been fascinated with undeciphered ancient scripts and the ongoing efforts to crack them. In Lost Languages, Andrew Robinson reports from the front lines of the global efforts now under way to crack the Meroitic hieroglyphs of ancient Nubia, the Etruscan alphabet, the Indus Valley Sealstones, the Zapotec scriptthe earliest in the Americasand five other major "lost languages." An enthralling story of genius, passion, and competition, Lost Languages provides a revealing look at how decipherment is done. In what is truly an archaeological mystery book, the author examines each script in detail and reviews what is known about the people who created it, while weaving in the intriguing cast of characters currently competing for the glory of cracking these ancient codes.