Synopses & Reviews
When he successfully deciphered the Rongorongo script of Easter Island --the mysterious system of glyphs in which the island's original inhabitants had recorded their ritual chants and ceremonies--Steven Roger Fischer gained a unique place in the pantheon of glyphbreakers. He is the only person who has ever deciphered not one but two ancient scripts. Both of these scripts yield clues of great historical importance. Fischer's previous decipherment, of a Cretan artifact called the Phaistos Disk, provided the key to the ancient Minoan language and showed it to be closely related to Mycenaean Greek. Contrary to prevailing archaeological opinion, the Minoans were Greeks, and Crete's Phaistos Disk now comprises Europe's oldest documented literature. Fischer's decipherment of Rongorongo shows that it was not merely a mnemonic device for recalling memorized texts, but was physically read and was the vehicle for creative composition. It was thus shown to be the only known indigenous script in Oceania before the twentieth century. Glyphbreaker is the exciting story of these two decipherments, by the man who now must rank as the greatest glyphbreaker of all time.
The Rongorongo script of Easter Island and an ancient Cretan artifact called the Phaistos Disk yielded information of great historical importance calling for a revision of current archaeological theories. 'Glyphbreaker' is the story of how Steven Roger Fischer deciphered them.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -226) and index.