Lecture on “The Earliest Writing in the World and a TCD alumnus” by Robert Barklie, given on Zoom, 2pm 12th April, 2022.
Prehistory stopped and history began about 5200 years ago when writing was invented. This form of writing, called Cuneiform , was in use for about 3000 years. This talk will attempt to answer these questions: What are the main features of Cuneiform ? Where did it start and who were the people who invented or later used it? How and when was it deciphered and who was the TCD alumnus who played a major role in achieving this? What has the decipherment revealed about what has been written? There were some surprises.
Robert Barklie is an Emeritus Fellow of TCD having retired after 34 years lecturing and researching in the Physics department at Trinity. In 1962 he was awarded an Entrance Scholarship to TCD, became a Foundation Scholar, got a first class degree in physics and then obtained a PhD at Cambridge University in 1969. He spent the next four years as a Lecturer in Physics at Makerere University in Uganda and a further year as a Post- Doctoral Fellow back at Cambridge before joining the staff of the Physics department at TCD in 1974. His interest in the topic of this talk was sparked by wonderful Annual Chester Beatty lecture given a few years ago.