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Dissertation software reviews capstone turbine presentation business plan for business english ´╗┐Good afternoon, everyone. My name is John Bodel, and I'm pleased, on behalf of my colleague Steve Houston and co-director of the Program in Early Cultures and myself, to welcome you to this conference, Making A Mark, Graphs Beyond Language, sponsored by the Program in Early Cultures. The Program in Early Cultures exists at Brown to promote the comparative study of early civilizations, which we define broadly enough to include everything from an historian of the ancient Mediterranean, such as myself, to a student of the Maya, such as Stephen, and many other cultures besides, both old world and new, earlier and some later. The Program in Early Cultures has sponsored, over the past few years, a series of conferences and workshop programs, many of them similar to this one in bringing together students of different early cultures, as we define them, without purposeful chronological boundaries, together with students who address the same phenomena in later periods. And we found it particularly productive, even when thinking primarily about early cultures, which is our focus, to address some of the issues that arise in them by considering what happens with those same issues in the pre-modern and even the modern period. And the conference we're putting on this weekend is no exception to that. I'll say no more now, but will simply turn the floor over to my colleague Stephen Houston, who will introduce more formally the topic of our two-day conference this evening. All our events will be meeting here. A word just about bathrooms and things-- the ladies' room is on this floor to the right as you exit. The men's room is exactly one floor above it. There are water fountains, and you're free to come and go as you need to. Welcome. Stephen. And thank you all for coming. We've arranged beautiful weather somehow-- totally anomalous, for those of you who are in the know. But it is truly a gorgeous time to be here. As John indicated before, we are the co-directors of the Program in Early Cultures. And we have convened some of you today to speak and others to come here on the subject of making a mark. And we see it as a workshop. We see it as a conference. We see as an opportunity for there to be plenty of interaction between various people. Now, as John has also just indicated to you, we are part of a program that's been in the works for decades here under Kurt Raaflaub, but it's been, you might say, reconstituted and reconceived by us with Sue Alcock, who has since left Brown, as the Program in Early Cultures. And for those of you who don't know, that's the Brown coat of arms there, of monstrous size, covering most of the eastern seaboard. It's not usually that large, nor is the campus, as you can tell-- not the largest of the Ivies. Now, as early cultures go, John has indicated that these may be variably defined. But we also have discovered, in our own careers, as Maya-ologists and someone very much focused on Latin epigraphy, that sometimes we can become overly ensconced in our little disciplinary cubicles. That is, we occasionally will get up for a water break and gather around and share the palaver and gossip. But generally speaking, we tend to be very, very focused on certain issues, when, in fact, we have discovered over the last couple of years and convening these conferences, some with the support of the Mellon Foundation, that it's very useful to conceive of this as a series of shared themes that apply broadly across the world. Now another way of looking at this-- and here I'm going to pirate an image from the Western tradition. That is, by the way, the Tower of Babel over to the side. And there you see the Tree of Noah, showing the descent of all the peoples of mankind, of humanity, all the way, more or less, up into the present. Now, generally speaking, you might be able to conceive of one approach to the ancient world, regardless whether it's the new world or the old-- is to think of it in terms of comparisons that are solely valid. They're solely licit, you might say, in one of these little genealogical arms that is only looking at, let's say, Nile Valley or the eastern Mediterranean or, for that matter, the Yucatan Peninsula. And we have discovered that maybe that isn't the best way of looking at it. The least, we can move a little bit laterally and begin to conceive of local historical connections. And this, generally, is how many ancient studies programs around the world might look at the matter of comparison, might look at the matter of contact and mutual influence. Instead, what we are going to do in our expansive, somewhat megalomaniacal way, is to take the whole tree and compress that within the Program of Early Cultures as our remit. And we're going to be doing so, mindful of the fact that there are these historical nexus between certain areas. And those cannot be denied. At the same time, what is also clearly undeniable to our way of thinking are structural parallels between peoples that would have had no contact in the ancient world. And it is the productive tension between those two where the Program in Early Cultures finds itself. Now, today and tomorrow, we have basically two, we hope, two talks this afternoon. One of these speakers is going to be tracked down and brought here as quickly as possible. Little mystery there, to be resolved soon, we hope. And John and I are equipped to just palaver on for hours and hours, should that be necessary. And then we'll also enlist everyone else to have their two cents. No, that won't be necessary, we hope. But today I'm going to be, by way of introduction, looking at some of the notational riches that we have found to be so endlessly fascinating and also reproductively mined in the course of our conversations in the past with John, who is a specialist-- very much so-- in the ancient writing of a Mediterranean area and also in other notational systems in other parts of the world. And here there are many, if you will, surprising testimonies. And I'll start with one right away. It's an example that, to me, exemplifies some of the challenges, some of the surprises, some of the felicities, some of the, at times, shocking revelations that come about through taking this, you might say, pan-human approach to a historical process around the world. Now this is-- we do have some people here from the UK, including, I see, Professor Cherry in the back. And he would not have remembered Euston Station at this time, obviously. This is just at the tail end of the Hanoverian Period. Queen Victoria has not yet come to the throne. But we are now ensconced, at least in the beginnings, of the quintessential modern nation state. This is going to become Victorian England and, ultimately, the British Empire. Now there is a singular event taking place, just a few short years before, that many of you are probably aware of. And it has to do with this building, or set of buildings, really. And this is nothing less, nothing more than the Houses of Parliament. Now, despite the fact that it is a heavily patinated, you might say, with a Gothic veneer, it's probably known to many of you that only a small core, a small vestige or fragment, of this sprawling set of buildings is actually old, or that old. There is a medieval component. But generally speaking, much of what you're looking at there dates to the period between about 1836 and 1860. And it's being put together by two people, in particular, Charles Barry the architect, and also someone they'll be looking at in just a second or so. Now, I'm calling it a new-old construction because it appears to be old, but, in fact, it's being put together relatively recently. Now, why was this necessary? It's because it burnt to the ground. It went into cinders in the night of the 16th of October in 1834. And there were a variety of reactions, including this aesthetic one. And this is one of two paintings, one in Cleveland, another in Philadelphia, by the great Joseph Mallord William Turner, who had paddled out in a boat to see the halls of Parliament go up in flames, and then rendered it in is this inimitable fashion here, as you can see, with his vivid, vivid coloring. Now, one reaction came from the King of the time only to be a King a short while longer. This is King Billy the Sailor King, King William IV. And he desperately loathed the Buckingham Palace, which was being constructed around him at the time. And he was very, very keen with this felicitous-- inflict conflagration down the Thames, so to speak, to give the Houses of Parliament-- to give the Buckingham Palace that was growing up around him to the Houses of Parliament, so that they might meet there. And this was regarded as a rather dingy place, according to the parliamentarians at the time. And they decided not to take him up on that offer. Another reaction comes from this great, you might say, aesthete of the neo-Gothic. And this is Augustus Pugin, who is responsible for most of the interior of the halls of Parliament, as you see it today. And he is someone who described the burning and must have seen rich, you might say, potential in it for his own pocket, and for his own design sensibility. And this is a direct quote from something he wrote at the time. "Oh, it was a glorious sight to see his composite mullions and cement pinnacles and battlements flying and cracking. There is nothing much to regret here, and a great deal to rejoice in." And, again, it probably saw this as a main chance for him to increase his business. So we have a variety of reactions to the halls of Parliament going up in flames. We have King William's desperate wish to flog off his own palace, which he doesn't like, on to the Houses of Parliament, which they were not interested in. We see an aesthetic reaction, as I mentioned before. And then we see, also, one from one of the great Gothicists of the time, who helped to invest the halls of Parliament with their current appearance. Let's bring in another eminent Victorian. And this is none other than Charles Dickens, otherwise known as Boz. And he wrote about and reacted in-- what other way-- with virulence and vehemence to what was going on there and as to why the Houses of Parliament had gone up in flames. And the reason they went up in flames was because of these things. These happen to be medieval tallies, which existed in, as I understand, the thousand if not the million, scattered throughout the Houses of Parliament, to such an extent that, eventually, they became so much combustible material, from being inadvertently stuffed into a stove, they went up in flames, and, along with it, everything else. Now this is a long description, an extract, from some writings by Charles Dickens. But you can see here he's saying two things. First of all, it took until 1826 to get these sticks abolished. They were still being used, evidently-- or, at least, stored faithfully-- in this proto-industrial modern nation state well into the 19th century, by at least a generation or so. And after being put in one moment into that stove, they set fire to the paneling. The paneling then set fire to the Houses of Commons. These are in the words of Dickens. And we're now on the second million of the costs thereof. And so we have here, I think, a bit of a paradox to help us understand a broader point, which I'll be getting to in just a second or so. It's this matter of notational systems that are out of time, notational systems that seem not to be being employed or employable at the right moment. Now let's look at another set of survivals, which were collected at the behest of the father you might say of scientific method in archeology. And this is Augustus Lane Fox Pitt Rivers. And he is almost exactly coincident with the reign of Queen Victoria. Among the many things he did-- and one of them was to contribute to the betterment of archaeological methods. He created this extraordinary museum, which is a museum of a museum of a museum, that's well worth going to at the University of Oxford. And it is this bedlam of different kinds of objects being placed around. But there's a method to the madness. What he's trying to do here, Pitt Rivers, and why he has collected and assembled this collection so faithfully, is he's fascinated by incremental shifts in technology. Darwin is, of course, in the air and the wind at this time. And he's interested in changes and progresses in efficiency, in a technological manner, as well, as to how to apply these concepts of evolution to the material world. And so what the museum does is it allows him to plug in some of the gaps of information that are not there in the prehistoric finds that he is making on his own properties and those of other people. And, instead, what he's doing is adopting what might be described as the fossilizations in the modern or present-day world. He's assuming that a tool taken from Australia, or perhaps another object taken from innermost Africa, is going to help to flesh out our understanding of the technological changes and improvements of the past. Let's get back to that image. These are the same kinds of tally sticks, mostly done away with in the institutional system of the UK in the 19th century, which are being collected here by the first curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum, a fellow by the name of Henry Balfour. They're being made and collected in 1902. This is going into the century in which many of us were born. Now, you can see here from a variety of notations, one of which I've jotted down from that photograph. This is a notch stick used by a shepherd as a tally for keeping the score of lambs born. White notches equal singles, red, twins, black, triplets. They're from Worcestershire. Now, here's another one collected in the same year-- at least, we know it went into the collection of the Pitt Rivers in the same year-- describing the "tally man," who was going around to various fields and farms. And he's recording for each family the amount of hops that they've been able to collect. And at the end of the season, he'll come back and he'll pay them with respect to how much they've been able to produce on their farms. Again, focus on that date, 1902. Now, why is this interesting to me, and to us? It's because it seems to run counter to the grand narrative of human notation, as it's been presented around the world. Now, this is a somewhat outmoded book by Albertine Garr. It's a general book issued by the British Museum. But in it-- and what I've done here is I've simply expanded in large for you the very front table of contents. You can see here Chapter 1, implying that it's the beginning of the sequence, in the origin development of writing. We have here-- let's enlarge a little bit more-- idea transmission at page 18. And then we presumably go on to other things, other developments. Now, this is the argument we're going to be developing over the next couple of presentations, and certainly into tomorrow, which is that there are other kinds of graphic notations that are worth our attention. And I sense, around the world, from a variety of research being done, this is increasingly becoming a central concern in many other parts of the world as well. And they do not appear to be simply a stage of cultural change, one that's going to be left behind, some fossil remnant of utter irrelevancy that is simply no longer of interest to any human beings, other than to populate the collections of a museum. And so all of this means that there is an enduring reality that all of us very much endorse and subscribe to, which is that humans mark for meaning. And it's not just in something narrowly that we would call writing. Now, let's take that argument then and unpack it in terms of three propositions. The first would be that graphic notations of any sort are going to come into existence, and then they're going to endure. Because someone is invested culturally making sure that's going to take place. That's because they have proved to be useful, quite simply. They've proved to be something that people wish to invest in, they wish to keep around. Now, I am one of those scholars that does endorse a more narrow, a more restricted, view of writing, per se, which is a graphic representation of language. But that does not mean at all that I fail to privilege or to pay any attention to other kinds of notations. Because all of them can easily co-exist with these graphic systems, each one of which has its own history. Now, another proposition that we can look at is that some of these graphic notations, a mark you're randomly putting, let's say, in a bathroom or on a wall, can be ad hoc. That is, they simply float out there as improvisation to the time. But more properly-- and this is something that interests us here in this group-- is that they can be understood as systems. That is, they have coherent uses. They have coherent principles. They have coherent rules of how to access the meaning within them. And that is shared by a social community. social aspect is something that we're going to be focusing on, which is that there are users. There are people that learn how to employ that skill. Then they pass it on to others. A new set of users comes into existence. And this is a chain that potentially can go on and on. Now, all of this, I believe, is implying at least three points, one of which is that there is a process of selection as to what is an appropriate graph for that system. There is also a sense of boundedness. That is, we can't have an infinitely expansive set of signs, lest they become impossible to master or control. And ultimately, there is the social dimension of who is deciding what is going to be the appropriate sign, which is the correct version. And then, in all of this, necessarily, there are risks. There are risks of bias, of cultural disposition, of preconception, that are embedded in some of these signs. And ultimately, there is-- and this sounds very postmodern of me. But there is a possibility of miscommunication. And what are those factors of communication? How might they be understood in this instance? So just to conceptualize this a little more abstractly, in terms of lines, each one of these lines represents, over time, a system of writing, which is bolded for you here in red. And orange is another notational system. Then there's another one, and then another one. Some precede the advent of writing, per se, as I've more narrowly defined it. Others continue on and are concurrent. They can exist in multiples. They can exist together in packaging, you might say. And some, not all, are even connected to one another. They overlap in time. So if you look back here at Balfour's assemblage of tallies brought together in the Pitt Rivers Museum in the early years of the 20th century, you can see here the tally sticks, all of which appear to be partly mnemonic in function. But look what is necessary. In each case, someone has marked in on them, in a rather spidery hand, some of the particulars of that arrangement. So let's look at this plentitude of graphic notations that exist out there alongside that help to supplement, sometimes to countermand, whatever might be going on and writing as we understand it. Some of them are-- and this has been studied by Ben Haring and his group over in Leiden-- are memory aids. And what better example to illustrate this than adinkra of Ghana. And these are a variety of emblems which, arguably, are documented back in the early 1800s and possibly go into the pre-colonial period. Each one of these graphs is linked to a proverb, which can only be accessed after being told at some length what those proverbs might mean. Why would these graphs need to exist? Well, one possibility might be that they're there as psychological prompts. That is, you see this particular emblem, and it instantly triggers in your mind the ability to remember that far longer proverb. Another possibility, too, is that by making them visible, by lending them a kind of concrete existence, you're validating their very existence as true and valid statements. And that is the concrete nature of writing. It's something that carries with it its own special nuance of truth. One thing that's notably missing in some of these systems, though-- and here I'm getting into another set of dimensions we can probably look at-- is this idea of sequence. Now, another system that has been studied by a number of scholars are the Lakota winter counts, which are reckoned basically from first snowfall to the next snowfall. And it records all that is thought to be of moment between those two intervals, so that you could have certain features having to do with war, with particularly spectacular hunts. There might be marriages. All sorts of different events are being recorded here, in a sense, but mostly in the minds of the winter count keeper. And usually, this is a male. It's a designated individual within 19th century Lakota society. Now some of these, as you examine carefully this Buffalo hide, and you try to make out what it's showing, are interpretable to someone who is not necessarily versed in the iconographic system of the Lakota. But some of them are fully identifiable. And this is what I would call a motivated sign. That is, it's something that seems to relate to a visible element of nature. And they would be here alongside other ones that might be more arbitrary, that might not be motivated by these kind of iconic tethers to the world. Then, in terms of the sequencing, there is juxtaposition, in which you have one of these elements after the other as you go through time. And that is what enables the narrative. There are breaks in between, but there's a sense of signposts, of mileposts, you might say, as you go from one winter to the next. Now, the next category of emblem, which will be studied by David Spafford and also by Stefano Bloch here tomorrow morning, has to do with what I would call identity tokens. And these, too, involve all of those attributes that I mentioned before, which is they've been selected. They're somewhat bounded, because they can't be an infinity of possibility to be mastered and controlled and memorized. And someone also has decided that these are the correct forms. And they've allowed certain people to use them. Now there is, as one example of some of the religious tokens that are found on these rather generic-- what better way of describing them-- marble slabs that are accorded to every veteran, here, in particular, at Arlington Cemetery in the outskirts of DC. Now, in the background you see the conventional Christian cross. There might be the Star of David. Occasionally, there might be a crescent moon for a Muslim. But this is actually a Wiccan token. And there is a whole set of appropriate icons with which to identify the-- you might say, the spiritual aspirations and identity of that person being buried here, in this case, a Private First Class, Abraham Kooiman. Other tokens of identity are well-known to those of us who are examining traditions around the world, having do with architecture. And Howard Tsai will be looking at these. But just to give you one other example, these are the Mason marks that are found in many medieval structures, particularly churches in Europe. And you can see here a series of these markings which we've highlighted for you all across the surface of this one building in central England. To give you a sense of what they look like close up, here I've shown you some fairly high-resolution images, give you a sense of how, in some ways, aniconic they are. They tend to be somewhat arbitrary, not always. But the supposition is that these probably correlate in some way with the Masons who have been tasked with creating those blocks, and eventually to be brought, perhaps, in. And the Masons would be paid for that work on a piecemeal basis. So each one of these is, in some ways, embodying a contrasted transaction. Now what about contrasted possession? There are, as many of you know, throughout the American southwest, many, many, many cattle. And some of them-- in fact, many of them are branded, particularly those that go go off-range. You want to be able to sort out which beast belong to which rancher. The way of doing this, historically, from the 19th century on, has been by means of brands. These, also, are tokens of identity. Now, up at the top of this chart, are ones that clearly are drawing upon an alphabetic tradition. So they incorporate some of the elements of the owner's name. But down below, I've picked out one in particular for Otto von [? Fang. ?] There's a good Halloween name for you. And up above, you can see his particular brand and that of his sons, presumably, which would have been burned indelibly into the flesh, into the skin, of the cattle under his control. And lest we get too far out of field, let's bring it back to lobster land, namely to Rhode Island and other areas in which we have lobster buoys. And these are, of course, are linked, in turn, to particular cages in which lobsters have been collected by this or that fisherman. And woe betide the person that grabs the wrong buoy and extracts the wrong lobster that don't belong to you. So these are very region-specific and often Cove-specific. You might go a couple of miles down the ocean front, and you'd have an entirely different set of buoys. But locally, they are playing a very specific function. I mentioned before the controlling forces behind some of these semasiographs, behind some of these images. One that you can easily see-- it's a curious building in the neighborhood of St. Paul's and also down in the city, the financial center of London-- is the College of the Heralds, College of Arms. It's basically a Jacobean building in the middle of all of these sky rises. And there you have authorities in England that are responsible for determining who has the right to use one of these. And this is, of course, a coat of arms. Now, I've selected here the most extreme, absurd, and preposterous version known to us. And it's very, very late. It's almost like a kind of parlor exercise. It consists of 719 quarterings, to show you exactly and minutely the geological descent of this aristocrat. This happens to be the 1st Marquess of Buckingham. It's called the Grenville Quarterings. And these are all, of course, tokens of identity. But they also interject something well beyond the capacity of the masons mark. They're telling us something about social status and about markers of distinction. We all know that these began as, essentially, martial emblems. On a field of battle there'd be a bloody melee. And these coats of arms would allow you to distinguish between that warrior and that nobleman. So that you would gather around them, and so that you could have at least a semblance of some kind of battle formation continuing in a place like Agincourt and Crecy and the like. But over time, something happens to this. And this is another feature that I wish to emphasize, along with Professor Bodel about marking meaning in the past, which is that systems can exist, but they also change into nuances over time. Heraldry is something we well understood as going from this marshy utility to one that's all about genealogy and inherited status. And there are some absurd versions of this. One of my favorites is this. These happen to be Jesus' coat of arms, as imagined by someone in the later Middle Ages. And this document is appropriately ensconced in English College of Arms. You can see here this helmeted figure. He's got a cross. It looks very ungainly on his forehead. And there is Veronica's Veil on the shield. And so-- so many paradoxes and ironies here. Because you have, supposedly, the Prince of Peace. How is he being denoted or designated in the heraldic system? It's in terms of the tokens of a martial elite, of a highly belligerent sort. And I cannot resist. I cannot resist showing you this. This happens to be Donald Trump's made-up coat of arms. And he actually-- he supposedly has permission from the Herald of Scotland to use this. It's a photograph I happen to purloin from a close-up of his sumptuous gold-plated jet. And there you see, all sorts of people are using these today, for very different reasons. And then this is something also, in terms of body marks and of social tokens, that Stefano will speak about tomorrow. And that is one in which we get peculiarities in which the signage itself, semasiograpy begins to adhere as a form of permanent marking, of tattooing, on the body itself. And for those of us who have spent time, particularly, in Latin America, it's quite a daunting sight to see a member of a gang, with the gang emblems all over his head, ineffaceable, very difficult to remove, and one that is, in some ways a proud statement. In other ways, it will place that individual and supreme danger, if they go into the wrong parts of, let's say, Guatemala City or El Salvador. Let me conclude this, as we move on here to the first presentation by looking at the visionary future of the semasiographs. And I've already told you, of course, that they have their own vexed histories that we're hoping to disentangle over the next couple of presentations and into tomorrow. But what better place to start than with this system, which we have been looking at with Professor Moser in my class on the pictured text here at Brown University. Behind this system which you see here, which is essentially describing how many people in certain parts of the world, by race or by region-- all sorts of bedded biases and assumptions here-- have to do-- what sort of productive capacity do they have? Now, what is intended here, at least by its maker, is an enhanced clarity, a greater capacity for mutual understanding, and, ultimately-- and this is the paradox-- a kind of perfected society. Semasiographs, the meaningful marks that we're looking at over the next couple of days, are thought, by some, eventually to lead to the perfect human and the society that we all yearn for and hope for. The person responsible for this, in particular, is the late Otto Neurath. He was someone involved in the School of Logical Positivism in Vienna, about-- at this point-- about 80 to 90 years ago. And he came up with the Vienna Method of Picture Statistics. And he did this as a way of showing with utmost clarity, in a [? museum ?] exposition, to the people of the city of Vienna all of the information they needed to know about the functioning and operation of their city. And what this led to eventually, after that initial foray, using graphic designers, admittedly-- he wasn't doing this himself-- into something that is called Isotype, International system of typograpic picture education. Now, what did Neurath think he was doing here, in the long-term? Well, first of all, it was direct, incontestable evidence, proved here by the physicality, the bright colors here, that would somehow move and operate directly on the human mind. It would bypass language. It would go beyond language, to some extent. To make that happen, he-- and this is very modernist. He would get rid of unnecessary detail, in cahoots with his graphic designers. There would be an absolute uniformity. Someone would need to control this. Who would need to control it? It would be the Isotype Institute. And ultimately, there were good and there were bad systems. There weren't many, necessarily, lying in between. Now this has proliferated around the world. Professor Bodel, I believe, will be looking at some of these tomorrow, as well. One example that I find particularly endearing has to do with the sacred deer that patter about here in the sacred forests of Nara and central Japan, shown here in a print from the 1930s. These sacred deer have a variety of resonances. They're partly syncretic kinds of beings, having do with Buddhist concepts but also with local gods. The point of the matter, though, is that they are almost a nuisance here in the streets of Nara. They come up, and they bedevil tourists. And just to be particularly helpful about it, the local burghers of Nara have decided to lay out, in a series of icons-- for those who do not speak Japanese-- these particular emblems, to show you that these are really rather scary dear. They can bite, and they can butt, and they can kick. And I love the fact that it's taking the old lady's purse. It seems to be a larcenous little deer. Not terribly frightening little things, but they do get aggressive. And then, when Professor Bodel and I were in Cambodia over the summer, we could not help but notice that isotypic thinking had also made its way into one of the great monuments of Southeastern Asia. This is on the entrance to Angkor Wat. And you can see here, one of the great nagara. Leading off, there is a balustrade. And just make it perfectly clear to the tourists what they're not supposed to do-- no sitting on the cobra. Do not sit on it here. Now, that's not the end of it, though. And here I'm taking you into a more absurd direction, almost, which is the recent attempt in going to some important art collections around the world, such as the Detroit Institute of Fine Arts. And here you see the great series of paintings by Diego Rivera, which have been made into emojis. In other words, the emojis below are somehow meant to convey for you all you need to know about the painting of Rivera up above. And you can see here that in-between the semasiographs, in-between these marks that we'll be discussing, is, oh, there's an ocean of misunderstanding. There's an ocean of lost information. More recently-- and this is something that Professor Moser and I have also studied with our seminar group-- there is the work by Xu Bing, a very great current contemporary artist, active in China. And he's also spent some time in the United States. And he has put together Book From The Ground: from Point to Point, recently published. This is from a copy that Professor Moser gave me, as a matter of fact. You can see here what is, really, a terribly banal story about a commuter getting on a train line, and so forth, rendered in a wordless language. You don't need to know Chinese, supposedly. You don't need to know English. But if you can just immerse yourself in that particular lexicon of signs, you'll be able to sort out the story. Now, what this provides that others don't is it's providing it with a little bit of a narrative, a little bit of story motion. And just to wrap this up into emoji land, which is where many of us find ourselves today-- it's actively being discussed, constantly. They're also going under their own historical processing, going from a kind of flatness-- and Professor Moser sent these to me last night-- to what is, to some people, a highly distressing three-dimensionality. Here, below, is one that appears to have all sorts of salacious connotations I will not present here in public. But to some people's distress, it's been made to look too much like a real peach. And so it has all of this three-dimensionality. What became clear, as we were discussing these in class in seminar a couple of weeks ago, is that, in all of these visionary impulses about where we will go to a future in which there can be no misunderstanding possible between humans, as enabled by these signs, we're actually looking at a kind of retrograde technology that's not acknowledging their digital nature, increasingly. We see them in terms of these static mobilities, when that's not going on. And ultimately, they're reducible to a purely chimerical idea of the pure idea that somehow exists outside of language. And so one of the things we'll be doing, I'm sure, over the next couple of class periods-- excuse me, over the next couple of-- we're going to be here for months-- next couple of lectures and talks, is to look at this idea of the pure idea and also how they're both limitless and surpassingly limited as well. So to introduce who would be speaking right now, we have, in our global, expansive view, two speakers in particular. One is Genevieve, who I believe has been located. Is that you over there? Yes? And then we have, as the last speaker today, there will be-- yes. By the way Steve Chrisomalis is the larger one over to this side. The other one is not Steve Chrisomalis. That is his son. And then Saturday morning, we're going to be looking respectively at some of the research that Ben Haring has been doing in Egypt, Matthew Rutz in Southeast Asia. And then there is John Bodel himself, who will also be speaking about circum-Mediterranean matters, and Howard Tsai on the [INAUDIBLE]. They're being found, located way that are their respective areas. And then, as we get in the afternoon we'll have [? Ildar ?] speaking about matters related to northern Europe. Then we'll have [? Bernice ?] speaking here about Bolivia. Then we'll have David Spafford looking at the Mon of Japan. And then over there is Stefano looking at some of the gang tags and markings in this fascinating cultural geography of American cities. And then very, very kindly we have three colleagues who will be moderating. One will be Jeff Moser. Then all the Matthew Rutz and then Sheila Bonde. And all together, they're going to do a slam-bang job, I'm sure in helping us understand how humans make a mark. All right. Thank you. A few years ago, in 2010, Italian philosopher Maurizio Ferraris published a book entitled Documentalita: Perche e Necessario Lasciar Tracce, translated into English in 2013 under the literal title Documenatlity: Why It Is Necessary to Leave Traces. Ferraris's book lays out his theory of documentality, according to which we have today become governed and controlled by our documentary identities, as defined by instruments such as passports, boarding passes, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and so on, to the virtual exclusion of our personal selves. Ferraris's theory rests on his fundamental rule of social reality, that social objects are the recordings in any medium of social act. The essence of a document for Ferraris, is neither material nor formal, but intentional, in the sense that it is willed and collaborative and recorded, in the sense that the intention is noted in a way that can be recognized and acknowledged by a third party. Recording is essential to the creation of a document, since it instantiates the idea embodied in a collaborative intent and renders the intent verifiable. The theory is totalizing, in the sense that it attempts to account not only for documentary practices of today, but of all periods, even the origins of graphic communication itself. And it's here that Ferraris's theory has particular relevance for our session this afternoon. Ferraris distinguishes three fundamental stages of marking, which in Chapter 4 of his book-- entitled "Ichnology," literally, "the study of foot prints"-- he arranges in an ascending hierarchy of development from traces, any sort of modification of a surface that recalls something not present, to registrations, traces laid down in the mind, to what he insists on calling Inscriptions In The Technical Sense, capital words, all. Necessarily, since he uses the word inscriptions, lowercase, in what he must consider to be a nontechnical sense, and expounding the idea of arche-writing as a primordial stage of human evolution from pre-history to history. It is this earliest stage of arche-writing that most concerns us here. Ferraris introduces his discussion with a brief account of the tally mark system of recording-- about which we've just heard from Stephen-- a system of accounting, says Ferraris, that goes back to the Neolithic. According to Ferraris, quote, "on this scheme, it is not by chance that letters and numbers are continually changing their roles, that both derive from traces and not from words, and that the same systems, for instance, those of South American knots, can be used equally well as alphabets for calculation and as calendars. They are forms of registration exactly like the letters, notches, and incisions whose archaic forms, perhaps as old as the paleolithic, remain in I, V, and X of the Roman numerals that are still used to number the pages of prefaces in modern books. "From Cro-Magnon people onward, the score, which is the accountancy of the illiterate in all times, and the cross in place of a signature, are all referred to the sphere of traces, rather than to the sphere of numbers, as ideal objects. These calculations are anything but abstract. Indeed, they are as concrete as the calculi, the little stones, cones, spheres, marbles, disks, rods, tetrahedral, cylinders used for calculating." This afternoon, we will learn whether or not Ferraris's theory holds any water, at least as regards its reconstruction of the earliest phases of human graphicacy. Our first speaker, Genevieve von Petzinger, is ideally equipped to provide us with perspective on that earliest phase of human graphic communication. She is a paleoanthropologist in the final year of her doctorate at the University of Victoria in Canada. Is that still true? It is, yes. Still? I'm close. Good. Her main work be of interest is European Upper Paleolthic/Ice Age rock art, particularly the geometric imagery and how its development can help us better understand the evolution of modern cognition and symbolic thought in early human populations. She is the author already of a widely acclaimed book on this subject, The First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World's Oldest Symbols, published by Simon & Schuster last May and released already in an audio book, from which I show you the cover here. How many of you can say that? I will introduce our second speaker this afternoon now, also, to allow a smoother transition between papers at the midpoint. Stephen Chrisomalis is an associate professor of Anthropology at Wayne State University, whose research focuses on the comparative analysis of number systems and the anthropology of mathematics. He is the author of a book, Numerical Notation: A Comparative History, published by Cambridge University Press in 2010. About its merits, I can do no better than to quote the words of one enthusiastic reviewer. "This important book brings together, in a polished and erudite presentation, the latest thoughts on the origins, development, meanings, and theories of numbers. Few people could have pulled off such a study. That Chrisomalis has done so speaks to the magisterial authority of the volume and its fresh views on the cultural basis of historical contours of quantification." But now, let me introduce first Genevieve von Petzinger, who will speak to us on making the first marks, early Homo sapiens and the development of graphic mark-making during the late Pleistocene period. Genevieve. Hi. Thank you so much for having me here. It's only my second time ever on the east coast, actually, of the US. So this is all very fun. So when I was thinking about my presentation today, I was realizing we're actually going to cover 90,000 years of human history in the next half hour. So be prepared. Hold on to your seats. When we're looking back this far, of course, we don't have written records. So we're left with these very-- these tiny remnants, basically. And we're trying to build histories and understanding out of these little tiny things. So mostly it's stone tools, is what we usually have to work with, and bones, bones from the actual people themselves. So let me start by giving you a little, sort of, where we came from. So 200,000 years ago in Africa is when our species, Homo sapien, first emerged. It was somewhere around there. It's not like one day it was Homo erectus and suddenly the next day it was Homo sapien. This is more the point at which the physical features and the genetic features all seem to align. And we can say, with a fair degree of certainty, these people were modern. But what's so interesting is that they were modern in the sense of-- physically they looked like us. They had the same brain size that we do. But they weren't exhibiting modern behavior yet. So we're not seeing them doing things that make us think of us. They're making nice tools. They're doing a good job of living on the landscape. But there's none of those other things that make us go aha, they have imagination. They are interested in art or these other sort of non-utilitarian things. And so what we're looking for in this landscape of tools and things is those first glimmers of when something else might be going on. And what we're looking at-- these are our little things that we're hoping to find when we're in a site anywhere in the Old World-- is we're looking for what we call symbolic behavior. So these are things other than tools for food, shelter, heat, which are kind of our utilitarian things-- so things that they were expending effort on and yet there's no direct correlation with survival. So this is kind of-- this is the five that us paleoanthropologists are generally looking for. So things like selection and preparation of ochre, especially if they're picking specific colors. There's one example in Zambia, from actually over 200,000 years ago, where they were purposely picking sparkly purple ochre. They were passing the boring red stuff and carrying on to get to the purple with the good glittery quartz in it. So that tells us that they probably weren't just collecting the ochre because they needed it for some utilitarian purpose. They may have been using it for something as simple as insect repellent, actually, because it does work. But on some other level, somebody decided maybe the purple was a little more fabulous, right? So this is kind of what we're looking for. Same thing with burials. Burials, especially with grave goods, suggests that they weren't just getting rid of people to keep the scavengers away, but that they may have been able to envision some sort of other life for these people afterwards, and therefore made it worthwhile to actually include grave goods, or that these were special items to these people. And they still felt they were special to these people. So again, this sense of a more abstract ability to be able to, kind of, understand and interact with the world around them. Personal ornamentation-- so, of course, things like jewelry, which start to talk about potentially identity and different people having different stuff. So we're starting to see a little bit of social differentiation. Portable art-- so that's any sort of portable piece that, again, is not a tool-- so something non-utilitarian. And then, of course, geometric or iconographic representations. So those are the main things that we're looking for. Those are the clues that tell us that we might be dealing with fully modern humans in the mind as well as in the body. And all of this seems to start coming together around 100,000 years ago. There's burials in other things, too. But I'm going to focus today more on the portable art and the geometric and iconographic representation. So a recent find from Blombos Cave in South Africa-- it's about 100,000 years old-- are these little paint kits. And so what they are is they're abalone shells where-- what we've got is somebody had actually stashed them in this cave. And they've got not only the pieces of ochre, which show evidence of having previously been ground. So ochre, of course, is iron oxide, and it makes that beautiful kind of red paint pigment that you can use for all sorts of things. But there was also stir sticks, which had evidence of having been used. And they had actually been mixing them together with different ingredients to actually create a recipe. So we've got that they were actually-- included bone marrow. There was some quartz that they'd mixed in. So they were actually not just taking the ochre, but they were mixing it together to create a certain consistency of paint. And the abalone shells showed repeated use. So there was staining at different levels, as though they might have used them more than once. Then they tucked them into this cave and walked away and never came back, which, of course, you know the great mysteries of really old archeology. Why did you do it? But I think that was the question, is we don't have any evidence of rock art painting that far back. And yet now we have evidence of them making paint. So what were they doing with it? And it could just be, again, 100,000 years is an incredibly long time for paint to last anywhere. So it might very well be that it's just flaked off the walls, and we can't see it anymore. Number two, painting the body. There's a lot of talk in paleoanthropology that the human body may well have been the very first canvas. And it could even be that it started out with something as simple as-- ochre, as I said, makes a good insect repellent. It actually keeps the insects off very nicely. So first you start off by hey, check this out. Now we're not getting bitten. And then, hey, how come you've got this cool red color, and mine's kind of dull and boring. I want cool red too. So you can sort of see how what might have started off as something utilitarian could very well have gained other layers of meaning over time. And so this is where-- who knows what they may have been doing it for. But it is very curious that now we're starting to find this, especially because, traditionally, we really thought a lot of this stuff started 35,000 years ago. Even 20 years ago, that was more the thought. 35,000 was the magic number at which humans became cognitively modern. So suddenly we're sitting at 100,000. So it's exciting. There's a lot of really cool new discoveries have been coming out. And then, the one, of course, that interests us the most directly are things like geometric representations. So-- oh, for some reason one of my pretty pictures isn't showing. That's too bad. That's OK. So geometric representations-- again, 35,000 was the magic number on these. We didn't think that these were floating around 100,000 years ago. And suddenly, we started finding them in South Africa. And in particular, with Blombos Cave there-- if you look-- to my mic. You can see that they're actually starting to make these very simple geometric patterns. Unfortunately, as I said, for some reason my Diepkloof rock shelter picture did not show up. But there are more complex geometric patterning. And what's so interesting about Diepkloof is that we're finding intergenerational repetition of the same patterns. There's only five patterns in total that entire group is using. So Diepkloof rock shelter is a place where people lived for, seriously, 30,000-plus years. And there's five repeating patterns. That's it. And there's some slight variation over time. And sometimes some are more popular than others. So it's really interesting to actually be able to see the intergenerational continual use of these very simple patterns. So, yes, you'll have to Google-- I'm sorry-- the Diepkloof rock shelter. But it is pretty cool. It's worth checking out. And so far they've found over 400 fragments. And Diepkloof-- whereas Blombos is made on ochre, Diepkloof is made on ostrich egg shell, like fragments of ostrich egg shell. And here's where it gets kind of interesting. So- at least that one works. So there's my Klipdrift piece. So ostrich egg shell-- there are still people who live in that region of South Africa/Namibia, in the desert there, the Khoisan, who-- they still use ostrich egg shell as water carriers. And it's suspected that's probably what the people at Diepkloof and other shelters were using them for back in the day. They're a fantastic size. They're easy to carry. And what they think might have been happening-- and, obviously, this is totally speculation. This is so far back. But the modern groups still use geometric patterns to identify their bottles, their water bottles, right? So the researchers working at the sites were like, well, that's amazing, that same behavior separated that far in time. But potentially, maybe these are some type of identity marker. And in a way, it has that kind of utilitarian base to it, which makes it kind of interesting that-- you know, it's this very practical thing. Like, hey, how do we tell who's an ostrich egg shell container is whose? Let's put some marks on it. Now we know this belongs to this family, this belongs to this person. And then that this, over time, becomes something that starts to become a practice. And so it's a really interesting question. Again, this far back, it's really all quite speculative, right? Because we don't have those written records. So we really don't know. But other questions are, were they decorative marks. Which would still be very impressive because we're talking about these very first time that somebody picked up a stone tool and actually made a graphic mark with some sort of purpose. So even if it's a decorative mark, or if it's a doodle-- I mean, doodles are still often culturally tied to something. You have to have something that you know of in order to be able to doodle something, right? So there's still a certain level of cognition and abstract thought that probably needs to be present. Or, again, family tribal signs, owners marks, all these kind of really basic things, which might very well explain some of the earliest graphic notation in the world. So we're now going to shift continents. I should have told you this-- also like a big geographic-- we're all over the place here. So just, really quickly, let's walk out of Africa. So around 60,000 years ago is what the genetic evidence tells us is when the main wave of our ancestors, who went out to populate the Old World, left Africa. And while they went to many interesting places, today we're going to specifically look at the ones who turned left, went north, and then turned left and went to Europe. So at 60,000, you can see they're starting to get there between the Black Sea and the Caspian. And then, wrong way-- next slide-- there we go. By 50,000-ish, as you can see, they've pulled a hard left there, and that particular group has worked their way all the way over. I think it takes till about more like 40,000 till they've actually hit Spain. But the genetics shows us that by 40,000 they'd actually made their way all the way to Spain. And of course, by then, they'd already made it to Australia, many of the islands as well in the South Pacific, all over the place. So our ancestors were quite fleet-footed. They went to a lot of places. Now, I know I'm talking about Homo sapien. But I don't think we can talk about Europe without, at least really briefly, talking about our friends, the Neanderthals, since, of course, they were there when our ancestors first walked into Europe. So of course, this is what so many people think about when we talk about Neanderthals. But this is what they really looked like. These are actual forensic reconstructions of skulls of a four-year-old boy and an adult male. So as you can see, they don't look so much like that horrible image that we tend to have of them. And frankly, they look awfully human, don't they, which also makes sense for anybody in this room whose ancestors bred with Neanderthals-- which includes me. So you're like, oh, phew, OK. My ancestors were a little more discerning than I thought. But no, so I mean, these are very human-like individuals. And you know, there's been so much debate, as you can imagine. There's a lot at stake, I think. And certainly, traditionally, in the earlier part of the 20th century, there was a lot at stake with the idea of could there be another species that was like us, right? And so because of that, there's been always a huge amount of debate about whether Neanderthals were making graphic marks as well. And over the decades, we've found burials now where there's very purposeful burials. We've found a few items of jewelry. So again, these are starting to hit the checklist paleoanthropologist used for cognitive modernity. And then, of course, there's the very recent, which some of you may have heard of. This is the infamous hashtag from Gorham's Cave in Gibraltar. This is the only somewhat uncontested Neanderthal graphic mark in the world. And the reason why I come down on this side is the fact it actually probably is Neanderthal-- is that that particular Gorham's Cave in that part of Gibraltar-- there was no modern humans there for like another 10,000 years. So at 39,000 years ago, it was Neanderthals as far as the eye could see. So it's one of the sites, whereas other ones, I think, where there's been Neanderthals and humans have lived there back and forth, it's been a lot easier to be like, oh, well, must have been when humans were here it got made. This one's a lot harder to argue with. And one of my colleagues was the one who did the analysis on the actual making of the mark. And what he was able to show-- he was actually able to reproduce it. He is what's called an experimental archaeologist. And so he does a lot of this reconstruction. His name is Francesco d'Errico. And he spent a lot of time trying to make sure, you know-- was this an accident? Were they sharpening a knife? Like what were they doing, to try and eliminate all of the other possibilities? And he came down on the fact that it must have required multiple strokes, made very deliberately, to create that shape. And so I just wanted to very briefly give our Neanderthal cousins a shout-out. Because I think this could be a very interesting area going forward. Because I think also it opens up a lot of questions, which is-- Neanderthals were around till 30,000 years ago. So that means any art made prior to 30,000 years ago might need to be revisited. So I think that-- I think it's a lot of fun. I think it's pretty exciting. Because we've just assumed it was all human. And so other really old sites with crosshatch/hastag marks-- maybe we need to revisit who was living there, and actually not just make assumptions about people. But back to humans for now. Upper Paleolithic Europe/The Ice Age. So by this point we're quite convinced people were modern humans. We have no doubt, at this point, that these were people with all of the mental capacities, imagination, mental time travel. So that's like the ability to imagine things that have happened in the past, and then also plan towards the future as well. So things like, hey wasn't it-- it really sucked last week when we ran out of flint. It might be a better idea if we went and collected some. And we'll take it with us when we go up to that area where-- you remember there's no Flint up there, right? So that's the ability to pre-plan, to work together. There's tons of-- we've got huge trade networks happening in Europe at this time, like seriously 1,000 kilometers long, at points. So we're finding shells from the Mediterranean up in Siberia. Like, they're trading in exotic goods. There's lots of contact. And what we've noticed, too, is that when somebody invents a new tool or something-- because we've got-- this is the time period when we've got bows and arrows being invented, and the atlatl. So that's like the spear thrower. It moves very rapidly across the landscape. So these humans are obviously talking to each other and really sharing information. Because we can see it. You know, it might start way over in the Czech Republic, but it's in Spain within a few generations. So things move fast. There's a lot of conversation, and communication seems to be starting to play a very major role in this. So let's talk about communication. Upper Paleolithic rock art-- so this really, in a way, is what we tend to look at, along with the portable pieces, when we're talking about potential graphic notation during this early time period in our history. We don't have very many sites to work with. We have around 400 sites for 30,000 years of history. So we're just getting a tiny snapshot of what probably existed. And frankly, I'm not sure many of you have heard of the Coa Valley in Portugal, but Foz Coa. So they recently were able to show that some art survived out in the open there, which is incredible. If you think about the weathering it has to survive to do that-- 25,000-year-old art. We didn't know art could-- we didn't know. And I had the chance to work in the Coa Valley in 2014. And it was incredible. Because when art's in the open, it's not in these dark scary-to-us places, right? Like it's not set apart from daily life. Like, literally, you can be standing in the old site where they lived, and you're looking up at these steep valleys going up around you from the river. And there's these huge slabs of stone that have been decorated, that have huge animals on them and other types of geometric markings. And you realize these are the same ones we're seeing in the caves, which really makes you start to wonder as well, then, about how special are the caves. Because we do place a lot of emphasis on was it magical, spiritual, special things happening in these faraway places. But what does it mean when we find the same stuff out in the open? And so I think this is another area that there's a lot of really interesting potential to explore more, and also to realize that the landscape these people lived in was probably heavily decorated. And it's just that the only things that really remain now, because of the sheer time depth, are these little micro-environments that preserve it, like the caves. The caves are definitely very special, though. And every time we find a new one it's very exciting, because there are so few. And it gives us all these new exciting insights into things. So between 10,000 and 41,000 years ago-- and making the art. So how did they do it? [INAUDIBLE] [? Notes. ?] So basically it's about half and half, half painted, half engraved. And for paint, the main colors by far are either red or black. So red, again, is that same ochre iron oxide we were talking about. And black can either be charcoal, or it can be manganese, which is another type of mineral. Occasionally, we find brown, we find yellow, we find purple, all of which are variants on iron oxide, so a variant on ochre. And then, really occasionally, we find white, which is actually kaolin clay. So it's interesting to see them sometimes using different materials. And here, again, we're starting to get very specific paint recipes in different regions as well. So different regions are actually-- you can actually track what caves are related to each other, based on how they're choosing to make the paint. So there's been some interesting stuff where they've looked at connections between regions, and the idea of this information being passed on generationally, intergenerationally. Engravings are either done with the tool, or sometimes when the walls are soft-- there's actually some shockingly well-done ones that were done by a finger. If you think about the owl, say, in Chauvet Cave in France-- that was actually done with a finger. And so they're quite masterful. Their ability to accurately represent animals is quite impressive. And it's one of the reasons why Chauvet was such a big debate for so long. Because Chauvet is 37,000 years old, at least, and the oldest art in there. And it's so well done that there was this massive argument as to whether people were capable of doing really good quality representations at that time, or did it have to be 20,000 years ago. And so it's created-- if you're hearing the debate, this is what, really, the debate is about, to a degree, is the quality of the art. But there's so many dates now coming out that are that early, it's really starting to seem like, yes, they really were capable that long ago of doing this. And they really were fully modern. The other thing that's interesting is them actually inventing technologies in order to better do the art, or to go into the caves. So things like a stone lamp there, like on the bottom-- so they actually invented the use of stone lamps about 25,000 years ago. And basically, they're using animal fat and a little wick made of moss. And as you can imagine, taking a torch into a cave gets really smoky. It's actually not a very pleasant experience. If you take a stone lamp in with you, with a bit of extra animal fat and some extra moss, you could stay in there for a lot longer, in a much cleaner environment. So it's interesting to see them doing that. And it's really interesting that we have, actually, evidence of scaffolding at certain sites. Like Lascaux-- it's not that-- we don't have the wood left. But we have the holes in the walls that suggests that-- you wonder how they're getting up high sometimes. Well, it looks like they were building some type of scaffolding, which really suggests that at least some of the art was done very purposefully, that this was not a whim. This was thought out. This was planned out ahead of time. So some of it probably does look more like it was done, maybe, by somebody who had a couple minutes to kill, maybe while they're waiting for rain shower to pass. But other stuff looks very much like it was very deliberate, very purposeful, and may have been a group activity. How are we dating the art? Just really briefly-- so we're using carbon dating when we have black. So for instance, if we have carbon from-- like, that they're burning wood or using it to make their black paint. But recently we've been able to really expand what we can do, now that we're using uranium-thorium dating. So we're actually dating the way that the water trickles down the wall in the caves and covers up the art. We're actually able to date that now. And that's what those funny little scalpel marks are. And that tiny innocuous sort of reddish-- can you see there's kind of a reddish blob in behind the scalpel marks? That's the oldest art in the world. That is a 40,800-year-old disc. So it's about that big on a wall in El Castillo in Spain. There's actually a whole series of them. And there's also some negative hands that probably date to the same time period. So the age of the art has really been getting pushed back, too, with these new technologies. And then, also, now we're finding art that's the same age in other parts of the world. So recently in Indonesia, they have now got 40,000-year-old art as well, which I think opens up some very interesting questions about how far back this practice might actually go. Another thing that's really helping us right now, too, is that, thanks to modern technology-- so you can see there's two, sort of, these kind of triangular shapes. So keep your eyes on it, and look what magically appears when you digitally enhance it afterwards. There's a horse. Who knew? So half the problem-- what we're dealing with sometimes, too, is that the art-- obviously, water runs down the walls. The art disappears. And so even what we have in caves that we know of sometimes is very partial information. And so this is where it's exciting as well, to now start being able to revisit caves and find, literally, panels that you couldn't see with the naked eye. If you think you can see a little smear of red, it's worth photographing. Because the camera's lens-- the sensor in the camera can pick it up. And then in post, you can actually process it and pull stuff out of the wall. So for the last project I did, we worked at 52 rock art sites across four countries in Europe over two years. It was probably a little overly ambitious, in hindsight, but yes. It worked. But we found new art at almost 80% of the sites we worked at. And a lot of it was-- again, it was faded, but it could be brought out. So that was very exciting to be able to start finding this. Because if we don't accurately know what's there, then we can't really properly compare it. And so the more we can do to enhance what we know, the more we have. Because this is-- I mean, this is pretty small stuff to be trying to really understand the human mind, right? So let's talk about the themes a little bit. I don't think a lot of people realize how simplistic the themes are from this time period. We really just talk about three. We talk about animals, which are the majority of the representational art. So things like a black deer or this sort of engraved panel, which is-- again, this is out in the open at the Coa Valley here, the one on the right. And it's animals, sort of all running up the panels. So we've got tons of animals. That's pretty much the majority of the figurative art. We have a few humans. As you can see, when they do humans-- I'm sure they were quite capable of doing good human faces, if they wanted to, or good representations. But for whatever reason, humans tend to be much more stylized like this. And frankly, these are actually quite well-drawn, comparatively. So this is quite-- this is more what we find with humans. And frankly, there's not very many of them at a lot of sites. It's mostly the animals. Now, the category that's often been just sort of difficult to deal with is the geometric signs. So as you can see, there's a whole bunch of them in this particular panel here. This is a cave called La Pasiega in Spain. And there's, you see-- oh yeah, and there's that wonderful purple ochre color, which you only see mostly in northern Spain, actually. They really liked purple ochre there. So what are geometric signs? The category has been around from the beginning. Basically about 100 years ago, they came up with these three, animals, humans, geometric signs. And we've all been dutifully filing them in these categories for the last 100 years, which is sort of an interesting testament, I think, to how sometimes we all just, kind of, get going with categories. I'm going to talk about that in a second. So when I started doing what I was doing, though, it was very interesting. Because a lot of people just didn't really know what to do with the geometric signs, right? They were sort of classified. They're non-figurative. They're abstract shapes. People describe them as not being recognizable as mundane objects from the world around them. And so basically anything that wasn't an animal or a human got stuffed in this category. So you can imagine, it's a very big category. Because, as I put up there, at most sites, the geometric signs are-- actually, they vastly outnumber the animals or the human imagery in the site. So there's all of them floating around, and varying researchers over the years tried to inventory them or did try and interpret them in one way or another. They kind of got pulled into a big binary interpretation in the 60s, which meant that like half of them were suddenly classified as being vulva-- seriously-- which was really unhelpful for me when I was like, well, what's it look like. You're saying it's this, but-- so a lot of interpretive stuff, when they were even paid attention to. Other people were just kind of like, look, they're too abstract. How can we possibly get at what these people were doing 10,000 plus years ago? And they were just sort of left by the wayside, in a lot of ways. So that was when I started studying them. And I just had some really simple questions. Like, that's really how it started, was-- how many different shapes are there? Because I thought I kept seeing the same shapes at different sites, but there was actually no master list of them. And there was no one spot for them. So yay, modern technology. I built a database. And I was able to answer that question. I thought I saw the same ones appearing at these different sites, but you know the same ones appear across space and time. Is there any patterning to how they're being used? Or are these just random shapes being decided upon by individual artists at different sites? So barring a few outliers, there's only 32 main geometric signs being used throughout the Upper Paleolithic. And what's so interesting is they all have different patterns. Some are incredibly popular at the beginning. So they're there right from the start. You find specialty things like negative and positive hands. You find them right from the beginning. Dots are right there from the beginning. There's some of those signs that are-- you find them all over the place. And over time, especially the hands, they actually start to fade out of use, which is fascinating to be able to see. But once you have a database, you can actually start running them in a whole different way. You can do these larger scale comparisons between regions, too. Then there's other signs, like say, the-- let's see, a penniform's a good one. So a penniform sign is kind of like the feather-shaped sign there on the far end, third row down. Penniforms-- you can actually sort of see that they're invented, basically, in France, sort of in that southern part of France. And you can watch them as the ice sheets retreat. Because the ice sheets are moving around during the Ice Age, right? And you can actually watch them moving with people as they move back up to settle, up in northern France. As the ice sheets retreat, these signs go with them. So it's a very interesting way to sort of look at people and ideas and movement across the landscape. So I think that's actually one of the things that makes them interesting. There's other ones, like the tectiform. Where's our t- there it is-- third and bottom row on the left. Where-- tectiforms only appear in the Dourdan region of France between 13,000 and 17,000 years ago. So this one region-- that is it. Except for one tectiform, one site with tectiforms, is across the Pyrenees in Spain, in an area called Huesca. And so you start asking questions. Well, we know that they interacted with each other. So maybe there's some sort of relationship that may have existed between this group and the Dourdan and this one site across the Pyrenees, which is a fairly major hike into Spain there. So I think it just provides a different type of insight. And I think it opens a lot of options for understanding. Because with the animals-- certainly there's lots of interesting stylistic things going on with the animals, as well, and even with the people, with the human figures. But 60% of all the animal images are either horse or bison. So they're repeating at a lot of sites. The thing with the signs is most of the signs don't appear at more than about 20% of sites. And sometimes they tend to appear together, in certain time periods. And so you can suddenly start seriating or doing these just interesting ways to try and get it dating, to try to understand relationships between regions, which just wasn't as obvious or visible with the animal imagery. So I think they're quite valuable that way. I think it also opens up some very interesting doors, too. Because, if they were purposefully selecting from this very small, repetitive group of images, then it suggests that these must have been meaningful to their creators, and that they must have been purposeful. Like, they were making decisions about what to put in any given site. So even something really simple like a line or a dot does not appear at all sites. 25% of sites have no lines. 35% of sites have no dots. So they're picking and choosing, very much, what to put, what to put in, what to leave out, all that kind of stuff. So I think when you start asking that question-- and this is sort of where, with the first stage of my research I sort of ended up-- I did sort of a preliminary one in France, just to sort of see what was going on and see if there was anything interesting enough to carry on with it. But I ended up saying, well, you know what-- archeology and paleoanthropology-- we don't talk enough about graphic communication. And I don't actually have the vocabulary to explain what I think I'm seeing. And so it's actually been a really wonderful experience for my PhD-- is that I've actually been able to delve a little bit more into writing systems and into graphic communication-- in fact, I've read a lot of your work in this room-- to try and help me better understand what I might be seeing. And I say that because so many people always ask me, so is it writing. And I'm like, no, it's definitely not. But I don't know how to explain to you that it's not-- which was sort of where I was at. But this is the kind of thing that makes people wonder that. This is called the-- and again, the researchers in my field actually called it the inscription, which makes it 10 times worse, right? Because then people see that an they're like, oh look, it's writing. And it's like 27000 years old. This is a one-off. It's interesting that there is this sequence, but it's never repeated anywhere again. The signs that we find don't often appear in series. They're much more commonly by themselves on walls. And so I think this is where, again, it really-- so that's why I was always like, no, it's not writing. But what do we call it? And so it's been really fantastic. And I'm actually so excited to be here and get to listen to everybody else now, too. I've been really delving into trying to understand what is graphic communication, in the larger sense of the word. And how might understanding what came later be able to inform what I'm looking at earlier on? Because I think that's often-- it happens so often in these disciplines-- is that we're so siloed over in archeology and paleoanthropology that we don't come talk to you guys. And so we don't get to learn what you've been working on for the last 100 years while we've been off inventorying and digging, right? Like, I think there's this big disconnect sometimes. And yet I think in this case, to really understand what's happening with the signs, we do. We have to understand what linguistics, and other semiotics, and what's been going on with all these different sort of studies of writing systems. You've been learning all sorts of really cool information that we could use. So that's what I'm now starting to look at a little bit, is saying, well, let's take a look. Let's look at the earliest proto-systems all over the world. Are there things that tend to happen? So again, we don't have-- we're talking about hunter gatherers hanging around in small groups out on the landscape. We don't have complex stratified societies. We don't need a writing system. Why would you, really, right? And with 32 science we're definitely not talking about language mapping here. There's no way those 32 signs could possibly cover all the words in their spoken language. So we're obviously talking about these single little important things which meant something to them. And so it's been really useful to look at proto-cuneiform and proto-hieroglyphics, and looking at early tally systems and things like that to say, well, we've got this group of signs. We in paleoanthropology and rock art research-- we call them signs, but we don't actually look at what kind of type of sign it is. We don't use that, right? We don't even talk about-- are we talking about iconic, indexical, or symbolic? Like, we don't even actually break it down that far. We just use the word sign and carry on. And so the reality is it's actually very unlikely that we're talking about truly symbolic signs that far back. It would make-- it just doesn't really make sense. I don't think we've got the rebus principle or metonymy going on yet, right? This is those first attempts to probably represent something important, which is much more like what you see in an early prot-system, or even before that. And so I think that's where, again-- looking at it that way has actually-- it's really funny. I went to all this effort to build this category. And I actually think the next step is going to be to smash it back apart. Because I actually think there's a bunch of different things all going on in there at once. And it's more-- that is just the result of 100 years of sorting into that category. And based on what I've learned so far-- and I would love feedback. It seems to me it's much more likely that we're talking about a combination of tally marks and probably more like pictographic iconic imagery that's just stylized enough that we kind of went, ooh, we don't know if it's really that or not. And so I'm going to finish by just quickly banging down a few things that I've now been wondering about, thanks to all of the reading I've been doing over in your part of academia. And then, I think they're really good questions that I do think we now need to-- over on my side, we need to start asking more seriously. So if a penniform appears on the side of a bison, is it still a penniform? Right? We call it that. We actually-- like the animal is actually classified the wounded bison, but when you look at the inventory, there's no mention of weaponry. Like, when you actually look at how they've inventoried the site, it's called a penniform, which means feather-shaped in Latin. It makes no sense. So I think, sometimes in certain contexts, if it's very obviously on an animal, it's a type of weapon we know they had access to, thanks to our tools. We know they had-- we know they were hunter-gatherers. Maybe it is OK sometimes to talk about penniforms as actually being representations of weaponry. We find that in other rock art traditions all over the world, where they do tend to represent many more mundane objects than our animals, humans, and geometric signs. There's just so many things missing with those three categories, right? So I think that one's a really good question that we really should readdress. Possible portrayals of plants-- you know, they're not just hunters. They're hunter-gatherers. Where's the gathering, right? Like where's all the plants? Where's the trees? Where's the landscapes? I think this is another really big question that might have more to do with us having sorted them this way than to do with it really actually being missing. And I think that can often happen, especially when you're trying to go so far back that you don't have a lot of information to work with. That-- when they started putting these categories together, they never thought to put landscape objects in as a category. So again, plants, trees, all that kind of stuff. How about mountains? How about rivers? All these things are usually important. And in recent years, there's even been a couple portable pieces they've found that they're now actually tentatively starting to talk about as maybe-- hey, maybe these are maps of the region, which would make sense. Again, these people really needed to know the geography of their area. And so these are these sort of logical questions I think we should be allowed to start asking, as like this. How about insects? I actually had a insect specialist contact me. Because he's like, I swear, some of these things I've been seeing actually might be some form-- because again, where are the insects? Maybe there are a few. Who knows, right? Again, maybe it's not just the big animals. Though, of course, the big hunting animals do dominate. But there is one weasel as well. You know, there are a few funny little animals floating around. And then I just wanted to finish with two more. So what about other real world subjects? What about the sky? Like, did nobody look up during the Paleolithic? I mean, again, especially living up in an Ice Age, time would have been really important. Keeping track of time would have been really necessary. Because there were six months of the year where there was a lot of stuff you couldn't do because of the snow. And so would it not make sense for them, potentially, to actually be looking up in the sky? And that's what this is showing, is that-- in the site of Lascaux, recently, some colleagues of mine did ask that question. You can see there's a set of seven dots above the auroch. Maybe that's the Pleiades. Maybe that's Orion's Belt down over, sort of middle-left on there. Or what about things like houses? Those are currently classified as tectiforms. But you know, again, if you were to look at it from the outside, you'd probably be like, well that looks a little bit like a dwelling, doesn't it. But from inside our discipline, we were so conditioned to think of them as being-- well no, these are these geometric signs. They're abstract. They're not-- they couldn't. No. They're not representational. They're non-figurative. And so I think those are really important questions to ask. And then the other side of this coin, of course, is the question of tally marks and counting. We have rows of lines. We have tons of dots. We have things on portable objects. We have things on the walls. And might it be possible that they were starting to keep track of things? You know? And I think that that's also another area that could really use to be explored, too. And I think, if we were to get into that, it might wreck my category. But I think, at the same time, we might be able to gain a whole new level of insight into some of the motivations as to why people may have been doing the art. So with that, I will say thank you. Thanks very much, Genevieve. That was a terrific introduction to our topic for the afternoon. Are you willing to take some questions? Oh, of course, yeah. So there's always so many things I don't get to include I hope you ask me. Questions or comments? Yeah. I have a complete layperson's question about the idea of-- you were talking about modern-- how did you call it?-- modern cognitive-- Oh, the modern cognitive mind. Yeah. It seems, from what you're saying-- and this is probably a really obvious question for anybody in the field-- But since your finds are moving earlier and earlier, it seems to be sort of calling into question the very notion of the progression towards the modern cognitive mind. In other words, why assume that there was a state when there wasn't a modern cognitive mind, rather than just assume, that perhaps, as you pointed out, this is a very long time ago. Oh, it is. And since we keep finding stuff further and further back, isn't it reasonable at a certain point to assume that, sort of, the absence is evidence-- --Is not-- yeah is not evidence of absence. Yeah. No, absolutely. So he's asking about whether-- should we be drawing a line in the sand and calling-- like, cognitive modernity starts later than modern humans. And honestly, there's been some new finds along the southern coast of South Africa too, which is actually pushing back ochre selection and actually heat-treating ochre. Because again, they wanted dark red. They didn't like the boring red. So they were actually heat-treating it. You have to do it only to a certain temperature. If you get above that it crumbles. If you do it under that, it won't change to this really vibrant red. And that's sitting at around 160,000 that they had that much heat, fire control, that they could actually change the color of ochre. So I think it's a really good question. It might very well be, again, our own mental prejudice of thinking, well, you know modern minds didn't appear till 35,000 years ago, which, like I said, literally, within the last couple of decades has only just started to change. That yeah, maybe we do need to revisit the idea that, at the same time that genetically and physically we became modern, that the modern mind was already there, and, frankly, was probably there a little bit before. That's what I mean. There's even a few things that slipped before that that make you start to wonder if it was already getting close. I think another thing to keep in mind, too, is that you can have a fully modern mind. But just because they-- I bet you our Ice Age ancestors could have built a supercomputer. But they didn't have the thousands of years of knowledge upon which to build it, right? So I think that that often can be what makes it so difficult to-- again, we're looking at these little glimmers. Because they don't have everything that we have now to do it. And yet some of the things that they were inventing and doing are quite impressive. So yes. I'm all for pushing it further back. Yeah. Any more questions? Yes. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for this very inspiring lecture. Thank you. One point that I want to address is the problem of the geometric signs that you highlight. And it's a problem that haunts me also in the lecture material I'll be discussing tomorrow. On one hand, there is the problem of geometric abstract versus iconic, concrete, which you highlighted. On the other hand, more practical-- when dealing with those signs that are essentially still eluding us, even in the question of whether they are geometric or real world-- is how do you demarcate the different signs. That is, for how much graphic variety would you allow, in order to-- when distinguishing between them-- and arrive at a certain number of these signs. For instance, would a penniform sign with four branches be a different sign than one with three? That's a really good question. Yes, you're just asking what level of almost subcategories we have. We have, like, none. I mean, that's what I mean. Even the humans aren't subdivided. Like, there's not humans hunting, humans stand-- like nothing. It's really like, oh, look there's humans. Like our categories-- I wasn't kidding about how simplistic they are. And I do think that's something that really needs to be worked on. And, I mean, another thing that hasn't even been touched on either with the geometric signs is orientation. Orientation might be really important, and yet it's never been touched on. And so when I'm looking at inventories-- because I partially look-- I visited a lot of sites myself. But I also was using a lot of archaeological reports, and building, for my database, off of other people's data that they'd created previously. They wouldn't-- that's not the kind of thing they mentioned in a report, right? Like, they would just be like, there's three penniforms at this site. And they would tell me nothing else. And so that's almost the level we're at. But yeah, I think there's a lot of specificity that's really missing, and that, hopefully, in the years to come-- Now that-- then the fun thing is now that I started looking at the signs a little bit, other people are starting to more too. And so I think-- and with this database-- so when I finish this project, I'm actually going to open-source everything. Because we have several thousand photos of art that had never actually been photographed before. Because nobody cared. Nobody'd ever photographed these signs. They were photographing those magnificent leaping bison beside them and not the signs. So we have several thousand photos. I have data from almost 400 sites. And I want to open-source all of it at the end of this. So hopefully next year I'll be able to do that. And then who knows what other projects people might get inspired to do. I would love to see-- because yeah, there is so much. Like, there's so few of us. I don't know if it's like that in your field, but I know everybody, almost, by their first name in my field. Like, we're tiny. When we have a conference, there's not a lot of us. So I think that's part of the problem, is that we're-- everybody is off doing really interesting work. It's just-- unless there's more of us doing it, right, we're sort of each kind of delving off at our own little thing. But yeah, hopefully stuff for the future. I have a question. Yeah. Thank you very much. I wish to ask about kind of the-- you talk a lot about the search for meaning. That's the [INAUDIBLE] fascinated with this need to record meaning. But also I think there's a need to find meaning in signs. But do we see-- is this a conversation that's had about just the meaning in art versus the meaning in writing? Because it seems that a lot of decorative signs-- the impression is is this iconographic or not. But we could also say, oh, this is the first art. And for us, at least, we have a big-- we make a division between art and writing, which maybe isn't useful. Yeah, especially that far back. No, I mean that's a really good question, is-- should we be lumping art and graphic communication, in a way, together? I think the way we look at it is-- we often will just sort of call them visual mark-making cultures. Like, we're really vague. And it's probably because-- I mean, we recognize that art is a very loaded term, in a lot of ways, too. And it tends to kind of come down from a Western notion of what is art. And so we use it because it's a really convenient "short word." That's basically why most of us use it, while recognizing that, really, we're looking at graphic marks, and that they may be artistic on some level. But I mean, I think all art can also have other layers of meaning behind it. And so I think that's the question. But some of the art, too, might very well just be art. That's what I mean, is that I think the big thing to recognize is that we're probably not-- there's not going to be one grand unified theory that's probably going to explain it all. I have a feeling-- just like today, they were probably doing art for a whole-- or making graphic marks for a whole range of reasons. And sometimes, maybe it was because they wanted to record a beautiful horse that they saw galloping by. Or at other times, maybe it's like, Grog was here. Right? Like, it could be literally and everything in between, right? So I think that that's the reality-- is that when people in my field, in the past, have attempted to come up with one theory to explain everything, it never works. And it's probably just because they've been doing it for lots of reasons, kind of like we do. But yeah. So some of it may be art, some of it may be graphic, maybe somewhere in between. Thank you. Good question. Yes. Last one. I have two questions. The first one is about this particularly geometrical signs. Is there any geographical [? continental ?] distribution, or they can be found all over Europe? Or there is certain signs that leading to certain areas, places [? of question? ?] Yeah, here, I'll answer the first one. And then we'll do the second one. So he's just asking about, sort of, geographical limitations. Some are found everywhere, and some are very specific to certain regions. So for instance, there's one called the Spanish tectiform, which almost looks like a rectangle, basically. And it's always subdivided into three subsections. That's completely specific to northern Spain, right along the Cantabrian coast. And so we only find them there. And people have speculated that maybe they were some sort of clan sign or totem, or something related to that particular region. The tectiforms I mentioned only found in the Dourdan, except for that one weird outlier site in Spain-- so some are incredibly specific. Some are time period-specific. They may be fairly widely dispersed, but only within a certain time period. Others, you find them wherever, right? I always say when people ask me what's my favorite sign-- I actually say it's probably the dots, which sounds funny. They're so innocuous. But they could be so many different things to different people, right? So in some cases, maybe they're counting. In other cases, maybe they're constellations. In other cases-- there's one case where, I swear, it's actually meant to represent rhino droppings. So I mean, I think you can get the full-- and this is, again, where the danger of just looking at the physical form-- right? Because there's all that context, too. But you do. You do find some that are very widespread. In fact, some of them are even found-- I just haven't-- I do have global aspirations, not by myself, but with lots of colleagues. And there are some that-- also, you find them in Indonesia. You find them in Australia. You find them in other regions, as well, especially in the really early time period. So I think there's a lot of interesting stuff to look at, as well, when it comes to the larger question of art-making traditions, and how they may have moved out across the Old World. So yeah. Hopefully, that kind of answers it. Can I ask the second question? I assume that you have also very unique signs that [INAUDIBLE] samples, you said. Yeah. There's-- how many of those little outlier signs? There is actually not that many. There's a few. I did show when in my presentation. Here, I can go back really quick. Let's see if I can find it. One more. No, too far. Top one there-- that's a single one-off in a site in El Castillo in Spain, in northern Spain. There are a handful like that, but most of them are more repetitive. So yeah, there's probably five or six sort of complex, very specific shapes. But in general-- and I mean, sometimes some lines are straight, some lines are diagonal. So I'm kind of-- at this point, they're all lumped together. Hopefully, in the future, they could be more specifically-- but yeah, overall it is impressive the amount of repetition that's occurring. So thank you. I'm sure there will be more questions-- Yeah. I'll be around all week-- well, at least for the next couple days. Here on Tuesday. Thank you. In the interest of letting Steve at least start his paper before we're engulfed in complete darkness, I'll ask you to hold off further questions for Genevieve for the reception, which will immediately follow the next talk, when we'll all have a chance. But let me now, if I may, thank Genevieve again. Thank you. Good afternoon. My name is Steve Chrisomalis. I'm at Wayne State in Detroit. I want to thank Steve and John for bringing us all together and for inviting me to talk. And what I'd like to do today is to take us through some ideas that have been developing in my mind over the past several years that emerge out of my book on numerical notation that John showed the cover of, and relating to what I'm going to call the curious ubiquity of graphic numeration. This is sort of a set of framing devices that I'll talk about today. But I'm just going to raise them briefly here, first. That is, why-- of all of the things we could represent semasiographically or through graphic notations, why is numerical notation so ubiquitous? We take it for granted, but I think we should not. Instead, we have to look at why that should be. We also need to look critically at the context and conditions in which numerical notations emerge, rather than assuming ethnocentrically that they emerge into functions for which we take for granted that numbers are useful. And then, that lets us then explore in a new way, in a more nuanced way than has previously been possible, what is the relationship between numerical notation, other semasiographic systems, and writing. And I should say I'm going to use this term semasiography. I'm perfectly happy with any other set. Frank [INAUDIBLE] uses SGIP, System for Graphic Information Processing. Malcolm Hyman just wants to call them all writing and then, to separate out writing and glottography. I don't want to get into those terminalogical debates. I'd like to get down to some data and to get to work. So numerical notation is a phenomenon that is present in the representational systems of all of what Bruce Trigger has called Early Civilizations. Of course, not all of those use writing as narrowly defined by some, such as the Inca. But they're all using representational systems that are complex and structured in a variety of ways. So numerical notation was independently developed at least five times in the Andes in Mesoamerica, in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China. But in reality, I think, especially once we start to parse that term "independent"-- what does that mean, and why do we care? We can actually see that, probably, numerical notation has been developed independently, or rather independently, many, many more times than that in the eastern Mediterranean, in West Africa, in India, in Southeast Asia-- I could go on. And in general, wherever a script of whatever sort exists, there is also this auxiliary numerical notation. There are really only a handful of scripts that are well-studied or well-known, for which we don't know of any numerical notation. Ogham in Ireland is one. Some of the scripts of insular Southeast Asia, the Phillippines, and Sumatra don't. They always write numbers out using words. But really, that's phenomenally rare, to have a writing system that only represents numbers through words. In some ways, this is striking. In other ways, maybe not. The question-- I mean, on the one hand, numerical notation is wherever there's a phonographic script, that is, a script that can write phonemes. Numerical notation is redundant. You don't need an auxiliary system. Because you already have a system to write out every number word. You could write "one" O-N-E, and "two" T-W-O, or whatever you choose to do. A phonetic script can do this. So there's no need for notation. On the other hand, we don't take phonography as the sine qua non of writing. And when we look at the range of things that early scripts do, they don't fully express language phonetically. And in fact, it really takes hundreds of years, in most cases, for instance, in Sumerian tradition, or in the Egyptian tradition, or in the Maya tradition, for phonography to develop. So I don't actually think we ought to look at it strictly as, well, numerical notation is the form of numbering that's not phonographic. It's the one that represents it through graphic symbols. But rather, I think we have to ask, what does it do? Where does it come from? And how is it used? I think that, then, gets at the question of why is it so ubiquitous that's been motivating me to move forward. Now, I want to talk a little bit about numerical notation, what it is, and what it isn't. And I'll do that in contrast with tallying. Not that I think that tallying isn't important, but rather that I think the tallying is so important that it's important that we make this distinction. And so in numerical notation is a base-structured complex semasiography that's used to represent cardinal or ordinal quantities. That is, it has multiple signs that have different values. And they're used in combination to represent quantities that can be read. Now, there are all of these other things that we can call "tallying practices." And they're clearly related to one another. And John you've started with our quote here, where there is some relationship between the two. But they aren't the same thing at all. So here are some different ways of writing the number 24. We could start with an unstructured tally, which is just 24 marks. I've used lines, but we could use dots. We could use whatever. But this is not the only thing that we could call tallying. We could structure them spatially-- that is, into little graphic registers or chunks-- and break them up to the inner fives. And that allows a particular form of reading. We can use two graphic signs. We can use a different graphic sign for every fifth mark. That also allows a particular efficiency in reading. We can actually extend the complexity of tallies by using multiple marks. We can use Vs and Xs. And we can almost read this as a kind of Roman numeral. But it's not a Roman numeral. The Roman numeral for 24 is XXIV. And there are things you can do with a tally that you can't do with a numerical notation. For instance, you can't keep adding marks to a numerical notation to keep on adding one. The difference between a tally and numerical notation is that tallies-- marks exist in 1 to 1 correspondence. That is, the relationship-- in the complex tally in the fourth line down, V doesn't mean five. It means the fifth tally. It means the fifth entity. And X doesn't mean 10. We're not meant to add up all the values of all these signs. The V means one. The X means one. It's merely their place in the ordinal sequence that gives it a certain structure. There are still 24 signs, regardless. Numerical notation does not have this property. Crucially, numerical notation uses signs that have different values and that are read as having those values. And so we can actually see that numerical notation, which has itself a very complex typology, which I won't discuss too much today-- but we can write XXIV, or 24, or kappa delta, depending on which numerical notation we want to use. There are over 100 numerical notations used over the past 5,000 years. But crucially, it is, or it seems to be, a property of the notation systems of the past 5,000 years. And as I'm going to argue, it really is a property of graphic notations that emerge with sociopolitical complexity-- that these are not systems that we find or that we expect to find in sociopolitically less complex societies, at least not originating. So here at the bottom I've given you an example of a Zuni tally stick. And this is actually from a remarkable paper from the ethnographer Frank Hamilton Cushing in 1892. That's not a typo. The paper is called "Manual Concepts." And essentially, it's-- I would regard-- one of the top five most important but under-appreciated works of 19th century anthropology. It essentially prefigures much of what we now know and we now think about in body cognition, materiality. Themes that really wouldn't emerge in archaeology and anthropology for a century thereafter are all sitting there in Cushing, back in the American anthropologist, in 1892. On the right, we can see, written from right to left, the number 24 in a tally mark system. Basically, it's similar to what I've called a complex tally here-- four marks followed by a slash, four marks followed by an x, four marks slash, four marks x, and then the last four for 24. On the left, read from left to right. We have the same figure in numerical notation. And that's essentially XXIV. In fact, I've actually-- it's quite clear that this is derived from Roman numerals. This is not independently created by the Zuni, who are of course heavily in contact with Western people by the 1890s 1880s, when Cushing collected this artifact. And so this is what I'm talking about. And it's this that I'm trying to explain. In particular, I want to know what's the relationship between the left side and the right side. Is the right side tallying properly considered antecedent to the left side? I think the answer to that is no, quite frankly. Because we still use tallying to this day. I'll take you out for a few beers later, anyone who wants to come. We'll count our pints. And I promise you that we will use tallies to try to mark them. Because it counts an ongoing sequence of things, as opposed to-- when all is said and done then we may have to write down a final number, which we'll do at the bottom, and we'll use a numerical notation to do so. Now, to think about numerical notation as semasiography, I would be remiss if I didn't mention all of the other less ubiquitous but no less important systems where we might expect structured semasiography to be widespread. For instance, kinship and social relations. And here I've taken-- at the left here, we have from Katina Lillios's work on prehistoric Iberian heraldry and kinship, measurements of generations, measurements of annotations of social relationships, musical notation. In the center of the panel, we see Tangut music for flute with holes being notated. Calendrical or temporal units, signs of the zodiac being things that we could consider in this way. Natural taxonomies, for instance signs for elements or plants and animals. We could go on. And all of these are very important. But they're not as ubiquitous as numerals. And they force me to ask, is there just really something special about numbers that make them just so different that they ought to be considered separately from all of the other systems of graphic notation? In which case, thank you for the invite, and I'll just take my leave. But I actually think that that's not the right answer, either. I think there's something there, that numerals are semasiographic. But they have some properties that deserve our attention. And I think it's just been taken for granted that-- of course, people number things using graphic marks. But why should we take that for granted? Why shouldn't we ask, why is it that everywhere people are doing this? And does it have something to do with that very, very old practice of tallying? Does it have something to do with the functions for which numbers are used? Or is it something else? So to start with, I'm going to take us back to the Paloelithic again. And this is one of any number of mobiliary artifacts, of basically artifacts that have-- of bone or antler-- that have marks on them that have been identified as counting-related. So here-- and this is pretty late, actually, relative to the stuff we were looking at, but early compared to all the stuff we're going to look at after this-- a piece from Montastruc. And the question is-- and we see here a series of marks. And one notion is, well, this is just something that humans have been doing all the way along, that there's something sort of primordially human about graphicly counting things. And I think that's true, at least as far as it goes. But it's not going to get us all the way there. One problem with this analysis is that there have been literally hundreds of works discussing the possibility of Paleolithic arithmetic, Paleolithic counting systems, Paleolithic notations. I have a big list. It grows every year-- and almost none on anything after the Upper Paleolithic. The discussion of numerical practices, for instance among Neolithic people, agricultural pre-state societies, is almost entirely absent. The discussion of notation among hunter-foragers throughout the world is almost completely absent. Why do we have so much attention on the Paleolithic hunter-foragers, and almost nothing? One possibility is that these Paleolithic artifacts aren't numerical at all. I can't get behind that all the way. I think-- I've shared with Genevieve some conviction that some of these are numerical in some way. Part of this could be an artifact, or the fact that people haven't been looking very hard. I really hope that's the case. I really hope that, if I were to scratch the surface, that I would find hundreds of people who'd be able to dig something out of a drawer somewhere in a museum and say, oh, I have this really neat thing. Could this be numerical in function? And then it really becomes a problem in the history of science. It becomes a problem in the history of anthropology that we just have not previously asked the question. How did people after the end of the Upper-- say after 10,000 years ago-- how did they do stuff with numbers for several thousand years until the origins of writing? That gap is a significant one. And unfortunately I'm not going to solve it today. But it does create a problem. Because the transition to writing or to the numerical practices of states is then very, very poorly understood. One exception is a really, really neat paper that Gary Urton published a couple of years ago, in antiquity, on the evolution of khipus. And on the left here we see a khipu from the Middle Horizon, that is from the Wari state or-- depending on whether you want to call it a state. But I do, so that's fine. And we all know of khipus. They're one of the things that we probably all teach our undergraduates, in one way or another, if we teach the history of writing or if we teach any intro anthro class. Anthropologists love to talk about khipus. But these things didn't just pop out of nowhere. And Gary has really been trying to get at the question of where did these things come from. On the surface, the object to the left and the object to the right look very similar. And they're used in the same area in the Andes. Urton argues that the Middle Horizon khipus-- they represent numbers up to five on a single cord. And you can actually-- you can sort of see them there, although not especially well. But each one of those cords is a cluster of five knots strung on a single cord. And then there are various cords breaking off. This is some sort of information recording system-- we really have no doubt-- several hundred years before the Inca. But what's the relationship between the two? Now, Urton has made the case that, because they're in groups of five, their users must have had a base 5 language. I, unfortunately, can't agree with that. Probably the easiest refutation for that is that Roman numerals also have a subbase of 5, but Latin doesn't have a subbase of five. It's actually-- there are pretty good reasons why, when you're grouping things together, you're going to group them in chunks of three, four, or five. Cognitively, it's much easier to work with. I don't think it's easy to-- and [? Imara ?] doesn't really have a base of 5 anyway. It has a base of 10. I'll take it that with Gary next time I see him. But he knows what I think. But in another way, this is an extremely important paper. Because it clearly shows the development of an information system. It would be naive to argue that these things are completely unrelated to one another. That can't possibly be true. But the difference between these groups of up to five knots on a single cord and what we see with the Inca, where you have multiple groups of up to 9 knots grouped together in multiple registers on the same cord-- so for instance, if you wanted to write the number 643, you would have six knots, followed by four knots, followed by three knots. This is a decimal place-value numerical system. The difference between these is striking. The one on the left, the Wary system, is much more like a tallying system. Although, I'm not willing to go and say it's a tally. I think it is meant to represent a completed count. But it's just representing a single quantity of units, using single knots. Whereas, what we see with the Inca system is really quite different. But I think this is the kind of work that needs to be done. What's the relationship between earlier notations and later notations? And how do you get from point A to point B? And how do you do it in a way that doesn't assume a universal monolithic evolutionary narrative? I think one of the real challenges we've been faced with is that so much of what we know and think about the origins of writing has been scoped out by what I might call Mesopotamian Universalism. In other words, the idea that the process by which Mesopotamian society has developed writing, out of numerical precursors, should be taken as a universal model for the evolution of writing. And I've listed some authors here who, really, are coming from very different traditions in very different ways, but all share in common this idea that, well, what's true in Mesopotamia, where we have lots of evidence, is probably what's true everywhere. Let's take that as a working assumption. Postgate, Wang, and Wilkinson, in their 1995 article about whether writing was originally utilitarian and ceremonial, make the argument that, while we know in Mesopotamia that writing emerged for largely utilitarian purposes at Uruk, and [INAUDIBLE], and some other sites, for accounting and bookkeeping purposes and for other cases we don't have as good evidence-- much of that evidence is probably lost. But that we ought to presume that there are things like tokens , that there are things like, maybe, tablets, maybe on wood. We don't know. And so we ought to take, as a working assumption, that this probably was utilitarian. The argument ex silencio has always seemed, to me, unsatisfactory. I think it's certainly true that we shouldn't take it as evidence of the opposite. We should always be critical of whatever we have and ask is this really a product of differential survival of materials. If it were used to discourage the search for more evidence, if there were anybody out there saying, well, we should just stop looking for early Chinese writing, then I would agree with that proposition. But I don't think that there's any positive evidence for the idea that numeracy and literacy originally served utilitarian or bookkeeping functions. I think it's taking the single case as evidence for a universal process in an unwarranted way. Schmandt-Besserat, whose token theory has been widely adopted, but also among Syriologists and Sumerologists widely derided-- there's clearly some truth to it, relating to the Mesopotamian case. But it has been taken to such a degree as a universal model that it can't possibly be sustained. Peter Damerow's much more sophisticated view shares, though, this idea of a unilinear, universal framework. First, you have tokens, which are like tallies. Then you mark them into clay. You take the physical token, and you mark it into clay. And you keep the token as a sort of-- so you have a sort of backup. Then you realize that you don't need the tokens, entirely. And then-- but that these things are sort of concrete counting. And then you have abstract arithmetic and writing that emerge. This model may or may not be persuasive for Mesopotamia, but it should not be persuasive for anywhere else. One of the reasons for this is that-- I think that the evidence we do have suggests that it's not right. For instance, the Paleolithic evidence doesn't suggest a broadly administrative bookkeeping function. Now we could argue, well, the Paleolithic is very different. And we shouldn't look to the Paleolithic at all. And I'd be OK with that, if we're going to say, well, we're not going to be concerned about that. But I think, even when we look at early states and the precursors of writing-- so for instance, Paola Dematte has an interesting paper in the Cambridge Archaeological Journal from a few years back, looking at the Chinese Neolithic and the graphs on ceramics from Dawenkou and Liangzhu and Shijiahe. And argues persuasively that these probably are some sort of precursive writing. There's some sort of complex iconography. But there are no-- there's nothing that looks like numerals in any of that. So if we're going to sustain this argument, the best Chinese evidence suggests that this is not the case. Even in the Near East, this idea is under challenge. So for instance, Jean-Jacques Glassner has argued quite persuasively that pictography, iconography, and sealing practices are just as important as tokens in understanding how Mesopotamian writing came to have the form that it did. So we shouldn't take for granted the fact that numerals occupy this superordinate importance. This was actually echoed in a paper by Sarah Costello a few years ago, basically seeing Neolithic pictography in the Near East as the proper antecedent of writing. Even the tags from Abydos, the famous tomb U-j tags-- John Baines and others have argued that we ought to be very cautious in taking this as positive evidence for an administrative function, that these tags are a very special-purpose writing, used in a very specific context. And we shouldn't use this to infer that all writing served administrative purposes narrowly, and certainly not even that all numerals serve those purposes. So what are we to do? Well, the first is just to say that we should be agnostic. Numerals are good for something. We should be agnostic, though, as to what they're good for. Another set of arguments that I find at least somewhat persuasive, or at least that we ought to take seriously, are a set of cognitive and embodied explanations that take for granted the fact that humans are a numerate species. And so I do think that we need to look at the very foundations of what makes us human to ask, why do we count the way we do. So for instance, we start with that general principle of 1 to 1 correspondence. It's actually the basis of all semiotics. That's a perfe-- that's a big claim. But I'm willing to back that up later at the bar, while we're counting pints, especially if you're buying. But this idea that we as humans are a numbering species-- and I think that this becomes especially important if we start to ask, what are the numerate practices? The set of, not just numerical representations, but all of the sorts of things we do, we count on our fingers. We engage in rhythmic activity, rhythmic patterned activity. And so when we look at numerical notation, I want to take us back to the Paleolithic again. Here we have some images from the Grotte Cosquer in France from 27,000 years ago. I think that's right. And Andre Rouillon has persuasively argued that, of the 32 possible configurations of fingers at the Grotte Cosque, there are only five that are found-- this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one. So we can see that we see different patterns of fingers. And we see one with the thumb and two fingers at the right hand side. This, to him and to me, suggests that there is some counting going on, and representation of counting going on. Where we really are seeing here the one hand like this and the other hand like this-- that's represented here. And when I look at this, too, it reminds me of why we have these fives and tens in our graphic notation of number, even where they're largely absent in verbal number. So there-- most languages are decimal. But this whole five business-- that's fingers at work. That is a manual concept, as Cushing reminded us over 100 years ago. And so we're not really surprised when Roman numerals have a subbase of five, even though the Latin number words don't have any trace of such a thing. Because language isn't the explanation here. Rather, the fingers are scaffolding 1 to 1 correspondence. This is how we work with numbers. And so this is how we notate numbers. Because we're both using the visual modality in both cases. And we're engaged in a practice. We're engaged in accounting practice, whether it's using tokens, or whether it's using cacao beans, or whether it's using the fingers-- that we're engaged in an embodied cognitive practice. And that's because we're a manual species whose evolution has been affected by a variety of practices, starting with toolmaking at least 2 million years ago. But going beyond that, there are a wide variety of practices I would want to look at-- weaving, knotting and tying, woodcarving, and rhythmic ritual, all of whose use has been correlated in the recent literature with the use of numerical systems. So when I look at a tally, like that one I showed you from [? Montastruc, ?] or the Zuni tally that I showed you earlier-- sure, there's a number there. But there's also somebody doing some cutting there. There's somebody working on material. And Lee Overman has been making, in a set of papers over the past few years-- has been making the case that the materiality of number is just as relevant to numerical cognition as is the brain. And so we're not really looking at the brain as something that resides in the skull. But it embodied an extended cognition, which is a significant trend in cognitive science these days-- to look at cognition from beyond the perspective of merely what part of the brain activates some sort of activity. These affordances allow us to bridge the general pan-human cognitive abilities with historically specific practices that lead to notations. But all of this doesn't get me where I want to get to, for a very important reason-- that all of this scaffolds tallying very well, but it doesn't tell us how we get to numerical notation. It doesn't tell us how we get from that 1 to 1 correspondence to something where numbers are represented graphically, non-lexically, with a set of signs in some order. And from that, I'm going to beg your forbearance, because I'm going to speculate. But I've been very persuaded by a set of work recently that's been coming out of the work of David Wengrow on the modular logic of imagery in the ancient Near East. And so Wengrow has this book The Origin of Monsters in which he argues that composite figures-- in other words, figures that combine different animals, figures that combine humans and animals, figures that combine animals and animals, figures that combine the natural and the unnatural-- are not simply ubiquitous features of the human iconographic tradition, but tend to emerge, or certainly to become much more salient, in sociopolitically complex societies, at least in the ancient Near East. Wengrow argues that the bureaucratic eye reflects a, quote-unquote, "modular logic of depiction," and that the bureaucratic eye of the state-- in other words, people living in state societies-- was increasingly drawn to the possibilities of composite figuration. But it wasn't for Wengrow. This is not just about how figures are drawn, but rather, his point is far deeper than that. It's about how states work. And it's about the modular logic, not only of depiction, but the modular logic of the state itself-- that the state decomposes objects into components and recombines them, whether that's mud brick architecture or proto-cuneiform script. It's about breaking apart and recombining in new ways things that might be taken as unitary wholes. What might that look like for numbers? Well, we could consider a number like 364. In English, that has five morphemes. In a different language, it might have more than that, or fewer than that. But it has-- unambiguously, it has five morphemes. But we could convert that into any numerical system. And we're not going to get-- for instance, here I've got it in Egyptian hieroglyphs. We don't have 14-- or, sorry, we don't have five morphemes. We have three different types of signs for hundreds, tens, and ones. We have three different registers into which those are organized. We didn't have to do that, by the way. It's just an additive system. We could have put those-- I could have put 110, 110, 1, 1, 110, 10, 1-- I think I've lost count. But I could've done that. It would be unambiguous, but it helps us a lot to see it in this way-- three sign types, three registers, and 13 signs. But if I were to show you this-- even if you have never studied Egyptian hieroglyphs before, if I were to show you some Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions, I guarantee you'll be able to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphic numerals. They're not that hard. They work in a base 10 system. You'll find that, oh, there are never any more than nine of those vertical lines. That's probably one. And there's never more than 10 of those little horseshoe-looking things. Well, that's probably 10. And you'd be right. That's actually why we can read Linear A numerals, even though we don't know what language Linear A encodes. Because it decomposes the lexical basis of language into this form. There's no language in which 60 is 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10. That would be absurd. I guarantee there is no language that operates on this principle. There are a couple cases where 4 might be 2, 2, or something like that. But as a general principle under which language is structured, there's no language that operates this way. But numerical notations operate this way all the time. The claim, then-- and I certainly don't want to make this in an absolute way-- is that the decomposition of numbers out of their lexical form, and their recomposition as semasiography is not just a product of taking tallies and turning them into something else. But it actually requires a change in cognition. The developmental psychologist David Olson has made a similar sort of claim, with regard to literacy. The importance of literacy, for Olson, is that it allows us to draw our attention, metalinguistically, to the basis of language. In other words, it allows us to pay attention to the phonetic and the morphological bases of words. These are obviously not phonetic signs. But they're also not logograms. These aren't words. They're-- if you want to call them that-- and they're ideograms. They really are. That's a unpopular word in the the study of writing these days. But I would argue that the number 2 doesn't represent the word "two." If I write 2-N-D, it clearly represents second. There's no two there. And if I write 1 over 2, that's half. And that's also not two. And if I write a little two, it's squared. These are ideograms that represent the idea of two. Two has been removed from its lexical foundation and recomposed into this complex, very complex, semasiographic system. I think-- regardless of whether Wengrow is right about the origins of monsters, I think that the analogy holds right for the case of numbers. What numerical notation does is it delexicalizes and recomposes numbers in a way that has some very interesting features. One feature is that it's translinguistic. That's very useful in multilingual states, where you don't necessarily need everyone to be using the same language in order to use the same numerical notation. The cognitive burden on learning is very low. This is very important as the state engages with its citizenry. Your tallies that you showed earlier are great, Steve. The importance of them is, of course, that they're actually split tallies. One takes it. You break it off, so that somebody who can't otherwise read whatever's been written on it can still count those notches. That's extraordinarily important for any early state where literacy rate is probably 1%, 2% at the highest. And it allows rapid reading and rapid writing without presuming that the audience need to have any particular information in order to recompose it. In that sense, it's a radically open and available system. In summation, I think that it's clear that numerical notation emerges in states, but I want to resist the idea that it emerges for bookkeeping. I want to separate number from its arithmetical prejudices. And I want to deprive you of the notion that we know that the state needs to count things, and that's what's going on. And I think the state does need to count things, but it doesn't need numerical notation to do so. But rather, while it's cognitively constrained, neither the functional factors nor the cognitive factors explain its ubiquity. Numerical notation's key property is its modularity, is its use of a componential system whose properties are not derivable from any specific language, or indeed from language at all, but rather derive from a graphic modularity, or a graphic componentiality. And so when I look to the modular logic of the state as a relevant factor, what I am arguing is that it is not a coincidence that we find numerical notations emerge alongside states. But it is not for the reason that we have presumed. I invite your questions. I invite your criticisms. Thank you. Thanks very much, Steve. Another wonderful lecture. It's always enlightening to hear Steve on reading, writin', and 'rithmetic and the connections among them. I'm sure there are questions. Yes. So I had a questions about the tendency of systems of numerical notation to preserve a memory of the tallying system within them, the obvious example being Chinese-- that one is one dash, two is two dashes, three is three dashes. And then you have an arbitrary system of signs for the numbers beyond three. And so I guess I'm curious. Is that something that you see in other cases? Is that sort of tendency of a kind of genealogy of the tallies somehow embedded in more sophisticated systems of numerical notation a broader phenomenon? Or is that [INAUDIBLE]? So there are some things that they share in common. And one of the most important things they share in common is the visual modality. And one of the things that humans are really good at is they're really good at-- and, in fact, not just humans. There are other animals that can do this as well. That's what is called subitizing. In other words-- and which means immediately perceiving, without counting, small quantities of objects, up to about three or four or maybe five. And actually, what you see in all these cases-- and I'm just going to pop back to Egyptian here. There's a good reason that-- Egyptian hieroglyphic numerals-- that the six in the tens register is not written as six in a straight row. Actually, it's much harder to read than being grouped into three and three. And it's for the same reason that-- even these tallies that we saw earlier-- I mean five-- there is, obviously, a very good reason why we use five. But we don't have to. We could use four. And there are certainly cases where this is true. So in the Chinese case, where you basically have one, two, three, and then four, you switch over-- actually, historically, there was actually also four in Chinese, which was four lines. That's actually-- that's a fairly arcane piece of trivia. But it is correct, and is actually-- this relates to the fact that humans have a very, very difficult time processing large quantities of lines like we see in line number one. In fact, we could-- you know, to do that, actually-- I actually think, in most cases where you find those long tallies, they're not meant to be read at all. They're actually-- they could be. But they're actually-- when you make-- imagine yourself taking an axe or knife in your hand and chopping on bone. And you want to do 24 tallies. And you count them. And, you know, each time you count, you're counting a separate word. One, two, three, four, five, six-- this could be part of ritual. So certainly there is-- Jim Hurford has made the case that all numbering emerges from, basically, these sorts of ritualized counting practices. All of numbering emerges from that. But the reason why tallying and numerical notation share this property is not because tallying necessarily leads automatically to numerical notation. But because they both use the visual modality, they share in common this common cognitive foundation of subitizing that basically limits our ability to work with larger quantities readily. I'm not going to say tallying never leads to numerical notation. The Roman numerals are a pretty good case where we seem to know that we seem to think that that was what was going on. One of the most striking facts about the Roman numerals is that they weren't originally letters at all. They were originally pure, abstract signs. And they operate on the principle of halving. A V is half of an X. And an L is half a C. It's the bottom half of the C. And the D is half of an M. Because the M was not actually an M, originally. It was, sort of, two crescents with a line in between it. I'm drawing it very poorly with my hands. But there's your D, which is half of an M. And there's your L, which is half of a C. It's clearly related to a tallying practice which is Greco, [? Estrusco, ?] Latin. It's much broader than just Romans. But that clearly is related to tallying. But in the Chinese case, I'm less comfortable saying that's-- there must be some tallying that we should be looking for. It would be great. I mean, if there is, I want to know about it. And please give me the reference later. Others. Matt. I was wondering if you could say anything about the tallying and especially numerical notation of really big numbers-- so both usefully big numbers and then just useless big numbers that seem to appear in some early numerical systems. {} So I wonder how that fits into what you're talking about. It doesn't exactly, but I do-- I have a separate paper on this subject. Because it is one of the things that we find that's very striking. One of the very earliest Egyptian numerical inscriptions of all is one of the very largest. It's on the Narmer macehead. And it records a couple of different counts-- 1,422,000 people and 400,000 sheep and some number of goats. These are obviously exaggerated numbers. They're fictive numbers that correlate very closely with the purpose of that artifact. The Narmer macehead is a royal scepter of authority, existing right at the foundations of the Egyptian state. It serves to demonstrate, through what I call conspicuous computation, the power of the state. You find-- in Mesoamerica, it's largely large calendrical units. They're representations of multiple, multiple units of these super long counts-- I forget, what do you call those? The big, big long counts? Grand Long Count. Grand Long Count. Thank you, Steve. And clearly these are meant to represent mythically, enormously large figures. I think these are-- but even imagine things like the National Debt Clock, which sits in Manhattan. And it's run-- I think the Durst Corporation runs that, which is one of these nefarious institutions that runs us all. They don't own Brown, do they? Good. Durst Corporation. [INAUDIBLE] Ooh. You know, these large-- when you see a debt-- this clock which is meant to represent the enormity of the national debt, I mean, somebody could say, oh, that's-- it's whatever it is-- 2.6 times 10 to the 12. That's a little number. We need a nice, big number with nice, big numeral figures that extend really long. One of the great examples of this sort of big numbers equals big stuff is actually from the Columna Rostrata, which is a Roman inscription. It basically represents a number which is at least 2,200,000-- but it's a partial inscription. It's probably bigger than that-- through repetition of the sign for 100,000, one after another after another after another. And it's completely awe-inspiring. But again, that's a monumental inscription intended to impress everyone with the size of the number. And what better way than to have a really, really big, physically, number? Yes. Stephen, wonderful talk. Thank you so much. Thank you. I have a question about modularity. What do you think is the relationship between modularity and, let's say, the architectural plan of early states? Because, in the terms of architecture, I see that the early state, the ground plan of early state palaces or storage areas have such sort of internal differentiation, internal complexity that would lend to a kind of modular logic of the-- necessitate a numerical notation. So that's certainly the argument that Wengrow wants to make. He makes the case that architecture, and iconography, and the bureaucracy of labor, and all of these things are-- kind of go hand in hand. And the iconography is just kind of the consequence that he sees. I'm not an expert on that, and I wouldn't want to-- I mean, that's the argument he wants to make. I guess I remain agnostic, although I think that's the way in which I'd like to think. But the question of what requires numerical notation is separate from what the state requires to do its work. I would still insist that, that it's very clear that there are-- while there are not very many graphic systems with scripts, or places with scripts, that lack numerical notation, there are lots of states that lack numerical notation. You do not need numerical notation to run a complex polity. It helps, but it's clearly not necessary. So that's a distinction I'd want to be very careful with. And that's why I say, like I'm not-- I don't want to take Wengrow too far. And I hope I haven't given anyone the impression that I think now I've solved all the problems. I think this is really just part of an analogy that I'm trying to extend to numeracy. OK. Yeah. Thanks for the wonderful talk. So I've been thinking-- you know, I study [INAUDIBLE] So of course, the example of China or Japan, actually--- Japan works even better because they adopted the script from [INAUDIBLE] and the numbers, obviously, {} with the script. And I'm wondering-- is it necessary to have a-- first of all, you say you can have a state without numeration? Can you have numeration without a state? And also, do we need the state? Because the state is a fairly amorphous construct to work with, if it's going to be our primary analytical tool. It's sort of-- right? It's very elastic. It is. And as soon as we start to try define it, we don't agree. And so I'm wondering, could we-- to go back to the previous presentation, could we have situations in which numbers are handy to communicate between communities that are not really speaking the same language, without a state? We have trade that's happening really quickly across broad regions. Technology is comparable, but the languages are diverging quickly. All right. So I'll break your question into two parts. The first is that I don't want to insist on any particular definition of the state. I mean, that's a very hoary old topic in anthropology. How many levels of hierarchy do you need to have? There are all sorts of different models, whether you like Spencer's model-- I don't want to play that game. But if we sort of extend it to-- can you have numbers without some sort of sociopolitical complexity, of some sort-- that makes that much vaguer. But the answer to that is, I don't know of it. And I'd like to know if it exists. It's partly this question of this huge gap of all of these agricultural societies of the Neolithic. But also contemporary-- what do we do about Scandinavia before runes? What do we do about Jomon period Japan? What do we do about that? And the answer is, I don't know of any numerical notation. Is that because nobody's been looking? Unfortunately, nobody's been looking. But I think if it existed, somebody would have written an article somewhere. So the answer is, at present-- everywhere where there's numerical notation is either sociopolitically complex or encapsulated in someplace that sociopolitically complex, and is engaged with a state in a very fundamental way, where you can't possibly ignore the presence of a state. I don't know if that answers your question, except to say that, if there's more better evidence, then I absolutely could be wrong. I'd love to be wrong. I'd love there to be some great case from 8,000 years ago, a nice well-described numerical notation with three or four different signs. And we can clearly identify their values. I'd be so excited. I'd abandon this paper in a second for that. It shows the level of my commitment. Genevieve. Yeah. This is probably, really, a big conversation. But just really quickly, I was just very curious about-- so interesting what you're saying about, sort of, separating tallying from notation. When you look at some of those early photos I was showing from Africa, does your mind go "tallying?" Are you seeing that? Because, again, we have no idea what they were doing. But what you were saying about the idea that maybe tallying came first-- it's a very interesting question. Because there's absolutely no figurative art that we know of in Africa, say, pre-40,000 years ago. Right. But we have these little sets of lines in different locations on different portable pieces. So what-- when you see it-- obviously, that's a super broad question. But just-- what was your instinct? Did you wonder about that? So the stuff at-- the stuff in the ochre at Blombos-- that one, to me, is clearly a geometric-- I mean, "clearly"-- as much as anything is clear. It does not scream to me "tally." It doesn't. Because then the question will be, well, what number does it represent. Is it supposed to be-- are those Xs supposed to be the number? I mean, it could be. But there's no reason to think that it is. But the questions that motivate Paleolithic archaeologists, in terms of how do you distinguish just what's a bunch of lines from what's a tally-- these are very real questions for later periods as well. And of course-- I mean, the whole Marshack versus d'Errico, and then Marshack responds-- and what is the Tai plaque? What is the Abri Blanchard plaque? What are these things? Obviously, that's been going on for 40, almost 50 years now, without much resolution-- except that they've kind of agreed that some of these things are notational, in some way. And of course Marshack's not around to fight the battle anymore. But clearly d'Errico has come around to the position that some of these are symbolic notations of some sort. But I don't know whether that gets us to whether these are accounting or whether they're something else. If I saw something that was much more clearly-- like the second, third, or fourth registers of those tallies, I'd be much, much happier asserting it. But I don't know of anything that I find-- series of lines or series of dots. And at that point, you are at a loss. It's an epistemological conundrum. Yeah, no, I love your-- that's-- I mean, because it's mostly, again, what I've seen, too. It's very unstructured like that, so. Well, thank you all. I've been fascinated, as I'm sure you have by this discussion, which I hope will continue. But in the last few minutes, I've been time traveling, mentally, out to the room outside where I can visualize five wine bottles lined up in a perfect tally system. What the hell are we doing here, John? So before I invite you to join me checking the math, we should thank Stephen Chrisomalis. Thank you. dissertation sur autrui philo Cornell NYC Tech.

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