NOVA A to Z: of Writing
Follow the evolution of the written word, from millennia-old carvings in an Egyptian turquoise mine to our modern-day alphabets. How Writing Changed the World: The printing press transformed the spread of information, igniting the Industrial Revolution. How did technologies–from pen to paper to printing press—make it all possible?
Part 1: NOVA: The First Alphabet
Where would we be without the world’s alphabets? Writing has played a vital role in the expansion and domination of cultures throughout history. But researchers are only now uncovering the origin story to our own alphabet, which may have gotten its beginnings in a turquoise mine thousands of years ago. From the shape of the letter A to the role of writing in trade and storytelling, discover how the written word shaped civilization itself.
Part 2: NOVA: How Writing Changed the World
Just as writing changed the course of human history, the evolution of paper and printing revolutionized the spread of information. The printing press kicked off the Industrial Revolution that fast-tracked us to the current digital age. But as the millennia-old tradition of penmanship falls out of favor, should we consider what might be lost in this pursuit of ever more efficient communication?