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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (CAMS)

CAMS 109Y (GH;IL) Writing Systems of the World (3) Writing intensive overview of the world's writing systems throughout history.

CAMS 109Y Writing Systems of the World (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

The objective of this course is to provide students with a broad overview of the world's writing systems in historical context. Students will be introduced to the origins, mechanisms, and conventions of diverse writing systems used by different cultures throughout the world. This preliminary overview will enable students to address a wide variety of theoretical issues raised by the origins and development of different writing systems. This course satisfies major and minor requirements for programs of study in the Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies. This course will be offered once a year, enrolling cap 25. The methods of evaluation include a mid-term and final examinations, two brief quizzes, a term paper and active class participation.

Special attention will be given to the history of writing systems. For instance, we will examine how the earliest writing systems in the Near East and East Asia originated and developed orthographic strategies and standards to record the linguistic realities for which they were designed; what processes and mechanisms facilitated the creation of the first alphabet in the Ancient Near East; how modern scholars have been able to decipher scripts lost long ago (such as Egyptian hieroglyphs, and Mesopotamian cuneiform), and how some decipherment processes are advancing and improving our knowledge of other civilizations (such as the Mayan and the Indus Valley).

General Education: GH
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: Other Cultures and Humanities
Effective: Spring 2007

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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