[Table of Contents] [Search]


[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [BKARTS] Printing for eternity



Hi Chris,

Here are a few ideas of my own.  If you're going to use clay tablets
(not a bad idea), why not make the impressions on them with photopolymer
printing plates like those that have spurred on the recent renaissance
of letterpress?  Plates of this sort are likely to give you finer detail
than a plotter would.  I would also make sure that the entirety of each
printing plate is slightly depressed into the clay so that there is a
slightly raised border around the entire impression area.  This will
protect facing impressions from becoming damaged if the tablets should
rub against each other over time.  It may also be inadvisable to attempt
a binding of these tablets -- too much chance of damage or corrosion.
Better instead to package them on edge in a perfectly sized box of some
sort.

T. A. Brown
Franconia, New Hampshire  USA


Chris Palmer wrote:


Thanks for the replies (and I hope there are a few more..)

I didn't realise that gold foil pages would sort of weld  together  over
time, but I suspect most every other metal will become brittle or corrode
over this time scale.

I now have the vision of a computer plotter ( the type that makes graphs etc
with a pen) scratching letters and simple diagrams with a stylus on clay
tiles which are then baked, tiles the thickness of floor tiles should be
strong enough to survive the years. Maybe mix in glass fibres in the mud to
act as reinforcement??

As for language Sumerian and Egyptian were recovered because of the
continuity of scholarship over the last 5,000 years, there was never a long
enough break and there were enough - just barely - multilingual translation
to recover the languages. Think where Egyptology would be without the
Rosetta stone. Unless there is a total multi-thousand year dark age it is
hard to believe that some scholars somewhere will not be able to read
English (or Latin!)

Thanks to Kate Gladstone for for the reference to the Long Now, I knew of
their web site but had not noticed the 10,000 year library.

Thanks to Greg for comments on petroglyphs, but petroglyphs become a bit
complicated when the story line is more complicated than "we shot lots of
deer here".

Chirs

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack C. Thompson" <tcl@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, August 10, 2004 5:16 AM
Subject: Re: [BKARTS] Printing for eternity




Chris,

Well, the Dead Sea scrolls do go a ways back, but the scrolls and
scroll fragments are rather small and were written on animal skin
which is subject to many environmental effects.

You're right about aluminum foil not being a good support, for the
long term; nor is gold foil.

If the gold foil is pure the pages may well blend into each other over
time; if blended with copper, for instance, or silver, it will become
brittle over time (thousands of years, right?)

Go back to basics.  Sumerian cuneiform (among the oldest surviving
examples of writing) was inscribed on clay which was then hotted up
and converted into pottery.  It has survived for some 5,000 years.
So far.

And that brings me to another point.  Sumerian is no longer a widely
read language.

Why assume that English (or any other modern language) will be understood
some few thousand years hence?

WAIT!  That gives me an idea.  Make a book of clay tablets where the text
(and illustrations?) consists of binary dots-dashes.

Hmmnn....

Jack

Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, Oregon  97217
USA

503/735-3942 (ph/fax)

http://www.teleport.com/~tcl

"The lyfe so short; the craft so long to lerne."
Chaucer  _Parlement of Foules_ 1386

***********************************************

                      Spring[binding]Hath Sprung
        Worldwide Springback Bind-O-Rama and Online Exhibition
           Full information at <http://www.philobiblon.com>
                  ENTRY DEADLINE -- September 1, 2004

     Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>
            ***********************************************



***********************************************


                      Spring[binding]Hath Sprung
        Worldwide Springback Bind-O-Rama and Online Exhibition
           Full information at <http://www.philobiblon.com>
                  ENTRY DEADLINE -- September 1, 2004

     Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>
            ***********************************************




***********************************************


                      Spring[binding]Hath Sprung
        Worldwide Springback Bind-O-Rama and Online Exhibition
           Full information at <http://www.philobiblon.com>
                  ENTRY DEADLINE -- September 1, 2004

     Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>
            ***********************************************


[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents] [Search]