Fiona McGowan- Amphora I
Inscriptions on potsherds from broken vessels.
An assemblage of broken amphorae reveals some stages in the development of the English language as we know it today. Humanity, the great communicators, congregated and built cities in fertile Mesopotamia and Egypt around 5000 BCE. Art and architecture, trade, conquest and colonisation, wealth, power and poverty gave rise to written records of transactions and directions in law and order. Written language later expanded from telling facts to investigating ideas between people in widespread places.
Loss? Oral poems, songs and stories kept alive in the memories of the people, told and retold, embellished? Languages and dialects made obsolete by the requirements of the printing press for standardisation? Languages adapted to standard alphabet?
Inscriptions on Amphora I: 101- Early record of items, 102-Early cuneiform, 103 Cuneiform, symbols replace pictures, Mesopotamia, 104-Minoan, 105- Egyptian Hieroglyphic, 106-Hieratic/ cursive hieroglyphic, 107-Phoenician/ first alphabet, 108- Ancient Greek alters Phoenician alphabet to Greek language, 109- Greek voting ostracon 110- Rome alters Greek, 111-Runic symbols in Ireland, 112-Beowulf epic poem, Old English West Saxon, 113-Caxton Printing Press, Canterbury Tales, 114- NZ Maori, Parihaka song, 115 Autograph book, 1925
Size: 240mm x 370mm (14cm diameter top)
Medium: Broken and reassembled ceramic vessel
Status: For Sale