from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The analysis of documents written in ancient languages, where the language is unknown, or knowledge of the language has been lost.
- n. decryption
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The act of deciphering.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The act of deciphering; interpretation.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the activity of making clear or converting from code into plain text
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Nobel Prizes have recognized a number of the triumphs along the way, among them Watson, Crick and Wilkins 'decipherment of the helical structure of DNA and Roger Kornberg's uncovering of the workings of the enzyme RNA polymerase, which turns DNA into RNA.
Only a feat of brilliant decipherment by Jean-François Champollion, working in the 1820s, allowed us to understand ancient Egypt again in its own terms.
Not even the decipherment of hieroglyphics at the beginning of the 19th century, and the discovery that most of what the Egyptians had written consisted of spells, royal propaganda, and tax returns, could quite serve to frustrate the impulse.
Now the two are once again sundered from each other, and the literary fact, like the other objects that make up our social reality, cries out for commentary, for interpretation, for decipherment, for diagnosis.
There is no doubt that Maya history really begins to unfold with the ongoing decipherment of the Maya script.
One might also be a little suspicious at the remarkable number of "ground-breaking discoveries" in the course of the decipherment.
It may even be true that some recent Maya epigraphers have at times been somewhat carried away in their boundless enthusiasm over the decipherment of yet another hieroglyphic symbol to add to the growing list of successful and verifiable readings.
While it is true, as critics of the Maya hieroglyphic decipherment like to point out, that the extant records deal almost exclusively with the aristocratic levels of society, we can nevertheless learn a great deal about significant social and cultural changes that must have affected the lives of Maya commoners.
While most Maya scholars and researchers acknowledge the importance of the breakthrough in the decipherment of the Maya system of writing, not everyone is convinced that this achievement radically changes our conception of the ancient Maya.
In Breaking the Maya Code (1992), M. Coe describes in detail the long and controversial history of the decipherment.