CCS 200 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Ishango Bone, Fertile Crescent, Hieratic

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Communication an exchange of info and messages
Pre-historical communication
Spoken or signed (immediate, impermanent)
Mediated (expressed through impermanent materials)
Extrasomatic memory memory outside the body
Symbols things whose special meaning allows us to conceive, express and communicate
ideas; help to convey abstract ideas; tied to the culture that produces them
Signs subcategory of symbols; convey meaning, but carry narrow, precise, and unambiguous
info; bound to actions
Art, Ritual, Religion praties that eist i a gre area withi ad eod ouiatio
(cave paintings, rituals or ceremonies that convey meaning but not formally linguistic)
Ishango Bone early mathematical or calendar system (20,000 years old)
Cuneiform (Mesopotamia; sumarian culture) fertile crescent region; used to track quantities
of crops and other goods
Origin of cuneiform signs and media tokens: used for bookkeeping, accounting, trade
envelopes: privacy for tablets
writing boards
promoted a commerce-oriented culture; records and transactions are kept and could be
stored for future use
Hieroglyphics earlier form of pictographic Egyptian writing used primarily for engraving in
stone; used for religious purposes, monuments, calendars etc (meant to last); medium of the
priesthood and ruling class
Papyrus thick paper made w/ pith of the papyrus plant, which grows along Nile River in
Africa; used for everyday forms of writing, and in documents placed in the tombs of the dead;
script was hieroglyphic, but also included an informal script (hieratic)
more affordable, transportable
society grows with mobility of its media and culture
The media of hieroglyphics:
scroll pages linked together to form long single texts
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