The written word is so central to the way we communicate and live that it can seem as if it has always existed. Yet writing is clearly a human invention-and a relatively recent one at that. Now, in the 24 lectures of Writing and Civilization: From Ancient Worlds to Modernity, you can trace the remarkable saga of visible speech" from its earliest origins to its future in the digital age. In this thrilling, visually intensive journey, Professor Marc Zender-Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Tulane University and an accomplished epigrapher-whisks you around the globe to explore how an array of sophisticated writing systems developed, then were adopted and adapted by surrounding cultures. You'll visit the great early civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Asia, and the Americas, and you'll see how deciphering ancient scripts is a little like cracking secret codes-only far more difficult."