Pippa was interviewed for a BBC Future piece that went live today. The topic is the survival of languages and writing systems. Why did some die out in antiquity and others not? And how did ancient texts in now-lost languages survive for us to read them today?


You can click on the link above to read the article, which deals with cuneiform, Linear B, Cypro-Minoan and Mayan.

As you will see if you read the article, the journalist who wrote it (Sophie Hardach, and old friend of the CREWS project!) asked a number of academics how they would make their own ‘immortal’ message to be read in hundreds of thousands of years’ time. My answer was to write on clay (a very durable material!), with a short multilingual message to increase its chances of being deciphered in the future (with versions in English, Chinese, Arabic and Spanish – languages chosen for being well represented globally and locally, though I could have included many others with more time). Of course I couldn’t resist making a little tablet!

~Pippa Steele (PI of the CREWS project)

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