Mo of It's A Blog Eat Blog World has declared "Graphic" to be the word of the week.
As it happens, pertaining to, or expressed by writing: graphic symbols, written, inscribed, or drawn fits right in with something out of the ordinary that I am reading: A Is For Ox by Lyn Davies, a short history of the western alphabet, starting with its earliest roots, Sumerian cuneiform, Egyptian hieroglyphs etc.
It sounds dull as dirt but is actually a fascinating history of our alphabet and the changes in the graphics made through the centuries by - Greeks, Etruscans, Romans, medieval scribes - until the early printers in Italy arrive at the form we know today.
Each letter's history is illustrated on a double page, showing and explaining the evolution it went through with time and country influences. If you have an interest in language, it is a joy to read.
3400-3100: Inscription on Mesopotamian tokens overlap with pictography
Egyptian Book of the Dead
Scribes employed in Egypt.
2400: In India, engraved seals identify the writer.
2200: Date of oldest existing document written on papyrus.
775: Greeks develop a phonetic alphabet, written from left to right.
The Rosetta Stone is a slab of black basalt dating from 196 BC. Its inscription (a royal decree praising Egypt's king Ptolemy V) was written on the stone three times: once in hieroglyphic, once in demotic, and once in Greek. Jean Francois Champollion, a French Egyptologist, was able to compare the three languages and decifer Egyptian hieroglyphics, thus unlocking a window into the past. Since then, most everything that remains of the Egyptians' ancient writings have been translated by new generations of Egyptologists. The stone now resides in the British Museum, in London.