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Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts Hardcover – 16 Feb 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd; 1st ed. edition (16 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500514534
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500514535
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 4.5 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 396,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrew Robinson has written twenty-five books in a wide range of subjects: science and the history of science; ancient scripts, writing systems and archaeological decipherment; and Indian history and culture. They include six biographies: of the physicist Albert Einstein and the polymath Thomas Young; of the decipherers Jean-Francois Champollion (Egyptian hieroglyphs) and Michael Ventris (Minoan Linear B); and of the writer Rabindranath Tagore and the film director Satyajit Ray. His latest book is India: A Short History. See http://andrew-robinson.org/

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Review

'An accessible primer...a potent mix of academic esoterica, code-cracking and controversy - the same giddy cocktail that made THE DA VINCI CODE such a success, but with much greater scholarship' - The Sunday Times (James McConnachie) March 2009
-- The Sunday Times March 8th 2009

`[A] must read'
-- The Sunday Times

Review

`[A] must read'

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Customer Reviews

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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By drone on 22 April 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written in a clear and concise style with copious illustrations and photographs, this book is a fascinating insight into some of the worlds oldest forms of writing. Covering first the work undertaken over the last 200 years to decipher previously unknown scripts such as Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Linear B, and some of the techniques employed to crack their 'codes', the text moves on to scripts still partially or totally undeciphered, such as Etruscan and Indus Valley. The book is evidently the work of an author fully in command of his material, but is presented in astyle and vocabulary accessible to the layman. Thoroughly recommended.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Oct 2003
Format: Hardcover
This review is written by someone who knows absolutely zero about this subject. I enjoyed the book overall, and thought it achieved an excellent balance between technical content and ease of presentation. The book is divided into two halves; the first reviews the decipherment of various languages such as Linear B and the Mayan code, and is fascinating, while the second half concentrates on languages that still remain to be decoded. I found the first half much more interesting than the second, and I think that is because there is more of a story to tell. With the second half, there is a sequenced display of indecipherable scripts, but you learn little other than they look like tough nuts to crack. I must admit, I gave up before finishing the second half, but the first half more than compensates.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Hall on 26 Nov 2002
Format: Hardcover
First of all don�t be scarred by the subject of this book, wait no, the subject is scary but the way the book is written is not. It describes in detail, with lots of pictures, the way that long lost languages were found and understood again in a simple, enjoyable way. It then goes on to tell of the troubles ahead in deciphering other languages such as the fascinating ronogorongo language of Easter Island.
The book itself was a pleasure to read, easy flowing, informative and very well laid out. Infact I can�t really find a fault with the book at all and easily give it 5 stars�..
IMPORTANT NOTE
This book is not just for people who know the subject. I didn�t know a thing about decipherment until I read this book, purely out of interest and I don�t regret it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alan Davies on 19 Mar 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a linguist myself, speaking five languages, but ever since I was a child I've been fascinated by languages and scripts. This book is outstanding for its ease of reading a very difficult subject. I loved it from the moment I started reading it. I will read it again, and probably again after that.
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