Thursday, May 10, 2012

The written record

"Discussing The Divine Comedy with Dante," Dai Dudu, Li Tiezi, and Zhang An, 2006. Click on this painting of 103 historic people for the full-size version in which each portrait (see full list here) is tagged and linked to the appropriate Wikipedia entry.
The definitions confirm that what distinguishes prehistory from history is the ability to record events. Although some prehistoric cultures have left pictographs and others have passed on events through traditions of oral history, the development of writing is considered the dividing line - but that line is quite jagged. In general, it occurred during the late Bronze Age, the dates of which vary from 3300-1200 BCE in the Near East (where cuneiform script began in Mesopotamia and hieroglyphics were used in Egypt) to 800-300 BCE in Korea. The methodical writing of history - historiography - is 1st ascribed to Herodotus of Halicarnassus (484 BC – ca. 425 BC). Ironically, the "Father of History," as he is known, is left out of the otherwise remarkable painting above by 3 Taiwanese artists. Dai Dudu is vice president of Liaoning Art Institute, Li Tiezi is a contemporary artist, and  Zhang Anjun is a painter and chairman of the Shenyang Youth Association of Artists. The 10-month collaboration was led by Dai Dudu, who stated, “At the time, we wanted to represent world history within a single painting. We wanted to showcase the world’s story, and let viewers feel as if they were flipping the pages of a history book."

No comments:

Post a Comment

You may add your comments here.