Cambridge - CREWS Project and British Museum Collaboration
This is an opportunity to discover a variety of ancient writing systems used in the Eastern Mediterranean, including a famous bilingual inscription from Idalion, Cyprus. The display is a collaboration between the Fitzwilliam Museum, The British Museum and the research project Contexts of and Relations between Early Writing Systems (CREWS).
The CREWS project aims to take an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to the history of writing, developing new methodologies for studying writing systems and their social context. By looking at the ways in which writing systems were developed and used, the project is examining the writing systems themselves and the languages written in them, but also the cultural settings in which they were adapted and maintained. Two central research questions underpin the project, firstly, how can we tell how different writing systems are related to each other, and secondly, what effect does the social context in which it is used have on writing? By focusing on the Mediterranean in 2nd and 1st millennia BC, the project will be able to investigate writing during a period when we know there were high levels of contact between different areas. Against this backdrop of linguistic and cultural interconnections, a study of how writing was passed on and adapted for new uses has the potential to give new insights into social history.