Preserving Language

Rosetta imagesThe Rosetta Project aims, with the help of international language specialists and native speakers, to build a free online archive of all documented human languages, using special disks that remind me of the mini Bible.

The Rosetta disks, made of nickel, aren’t electronic; the words are physically etched into them and readable with a microscope, so that people in the future won’t need special computer software or hardware to understad the information. The texts start out visible to the naked eye, then grow smaller as they spiral inward.

The site includes an illustrated history of the project’s historical precedents, which include a “6” diameter clay disk, found in Crete in 1903, dating from the 17th century BC. It is inscribed with an as yet undeciphered and unidentified spiraling hieroglyphic script.” (Thanks to Mr. Maud for the link.)


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