IT WILL REPAY STUDY IF WE NOW CONSIDER THE HISTORY of decipherment, the story of the ways in which scripts, whose meaning has previously rested unknown and mysterious for centuries, have been brought to life again and made to reveal their secrets to modern investigators. It is a tale of patient and ingenious detective work, and its successes are notable among the scientific discoveries of the nineteenth century. It may also, perhaps, point to lessons that are useful for those who would interpret writing still obscure, such as that of the Cretan inscriptions, by showing what methods of working have been fruitful in the past.
DECIPHERMENT OF CUNEIFORM
WE BEGIN WITH THE DECIPHERMENT OF CUNEIFORM.1 The last use of it in the ancient world, so far as we know, was in 7 B.C. to record an eclipse of the sun. After that, the system____________________