In this Book

summary
Individual agents are frequently evident in early writing and notational systems, yet these systems have rarely been subjected to the concept of agency as it is traceable in archeology. Agency in Ancient Writing addresses this oversight, allowing archeologists to identify and discuss real, observable actors and actions in the archaeological record.

Embracing myriad ways in which agency can be interpreted, ancient writing systems from Mesoamerica, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Crete, China, and Greece are examined from a textual perspective as both archaeological objects and nascent historical documents. This allows for distinction among intentions, consequences, meanings, and motivations, increasing understanding and aiding interpretation of the subjectivity of social actors. Chapters focusing on acts of writing and public recitation overlap with those addressing the materiality of texts, interweaving archaeology, epigraphy, and the study of visual symbol systems.

Agency in Ancient Writing leads to a more thorough and meaningful discussion of agency as an archaeological concept and will be of interest to anyone interested in ancient texts, including archaeologists, historians, linguists, epigraphers, and art historians, as well as scholars studying agency and structuration theory.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Figures
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Tables
  2. p. xi
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. xiii-xv
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xvii-xviii
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  1. Introduction. Individual Intentionality, Social Structure, and Material Agency in Early Writing and Emerging Script Technologies
  2. pp. 1-18
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  1. Part 1: Agency in the Formation of Early Writing and Notational Systems
  2. p. 19
  1. 1. The Mediated Image: Reflections on Semasiographic Notation in the Ancient Americas
  2. pp. 21-43
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  1. 2. Bureaucratic Backlashes: Bureaucrats as Agents of Socioeconomic Change in Proto-Historic Mesopotamia
  2. pp. 45-69
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  1. 3. Are Writing Systems Intelligently Designed?
  2. pp. 71-93
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  1. 4. Agency in Death: Early Egyptian Writing from Mortuary Contexts
  2. pp. 95-111
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  1. Part 2: The Material Agency of Early Writing and Incipient Scripts
  2. p. 113
  1. 5. Reembodying Identity: Seals and Seal Impressions as Agents of Social Change on Late Prepalatial Crete
  2. pp. 115-138
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  1. 6 .Performance, Presence, and Genre in Maya Hieroglyphs
  2. pp. 139-163
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  1. 7. Contingency and Innovation in Native Transcriptions of Encrypted Cuneiform (UD.GAL.NUN)
  2. pp. 165-182
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  1. Part 3: Agency through Writing and Early Texts
  2. p. 183
  1. 8. Structuration of the Conjuncture: Agency in Classic Maya Iconography and Texts
  2. pp. 185-207
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  1. 9. Inscriptions from Zhongshan: Chinese Texts and the Archaeolog y of Agency
  2. pp. 209-230
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  1. 10. Structuration and the State in Mycenaean Greece
  2. pp. 231-247
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  1. Epilogue: Agency and Writing
  2. pp. 249-255
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  1. References
  2. pp. 257-287
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  1. List of Contributors
  2. pp. 289-291
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 293-299
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781607322092
Print ISBN
9781607321996
MARC Record
OCLC
815970271
Pages
360
Launched on MUSE
2012-11-02
Language
English
Open Access
N
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