Writing Science before the Greeks - download pdf or read online

By Rita Watson and Wayne Horowitz

ISBN-10: 9004202307

ISBN-13: 9789004202306

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APIN. 17 Some texts survived in recognizable form for thousands of years within this tradition. Preservation was influenced in part by educational institutions, within which the copying of texts was the primary mode of instruction, but also by a concern for the preservation of older texts and veneration for the knowledge that they contained (Nissen, Damerow, & Englund, 1993; Veldhuis, 1997, 2004; Pearce, 1995). That is, while scribal education was dedicated to the teaching of specific skills, the central concern of the curriculum may be best understood as an induction into the scribal tradition, and the cultural heritage and knowledge contained therein (Veldhuis, 1997:82–3).

However, as Cooper (2004:94) has noted, literacy is not an obligatory marker for complex societies or civilizations. The cuneiform corpus provides a uniquely rich record of the early uses to which writing was put, largely because of the durable material on which it was written: clay tends to outlast papyrus and other, softer materials. The necessity for record keeping and the relative stability brought by urbanization allowed both the preservation of written records and the elaboration and development of the writing system.

In sections c–d, the procedures implied are more complicated. These sections detail the simultaneous rising and setting of stars. Two stars must be observed at the same time, along with the date of the observation added in section d. In the succeeding sections, the technical knowledge required by the “observer of the sky” (the astronomer-scribe making use of 18 For some of the numerous examples of Nergal = Mars see most recently RlA 9 222–223, Reynolds 1998:353–354, and Koch-Westenholz 1995:128–129.

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Writing Science before the Greeks by Rita Watson and Wayne Horowitz


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