Decipherment is a set of code analysis techniques that allows knowing and interpreting all or part of the information expressed through an unknown code (that is, a code whose conventional coding rules are unknown). The process is different from decoding since in this case there is generally a set of explicit or implicit rules that allow the code to be interpreted. Decryption would include discovering such decryption rules to derive meaningful messages from unknown codes. The most common case of decryption concerns linguistic codes, which is known as linguistic decryption.
Decryption shares some common features with conventional cryptanalysis. The term decryption appears above all in linguistics and cryptography, but also in genetics (particularly in works related to the genome or DNA of living species).
The linguistic cracking of a code involves two different steps:
Interpretation of writing in phonological terms, that is, making the writing legible, from.
Grammatical interpretation of legible writing. This is basically done using related languages, either by bilingual inscriptions or less usually by internal comparison. in that way it is not interpretable because we do not know almost everything about the grammar of the language in which those texts were written.
Some of the important scripts that have been fully deciphered for which script interpretation and grammar exist are Cuneiform, Hieroglyphic, Kharoṣṭhī, Linear B, Maya, and Olmec. Other scripts for which there are partial or controversial decipherments are Linear A, from the Indus Valley (found in Harappa), Iberian (the phonetic value is known, not the meaning), and Tartessian (the phonetic value is known, not the meaning).
For their part, famous objects from the world of decipherment are the Rosetta Stone, the Rohonczi Codex, the Voynich Manuscript, the Phaistos Disc and the Behistun Inscription.
The following are some of the most celebrated codebreakers in history:
Jean-François Champollion. Between 1822 and 1824 he studied the Egyptian hieroglyphic writing and achieved the first readings from Coptic.
Georg Friedrich Grotefend. He initially published works on the language and scripts of Oscan and Umbrian, but his greatest success came in the 1830s with the decipherment of Persian cuneiform.
Bedrich Hrozny. Between 1915 and 1917 he deciphered the Hittite hieroglyphs also deciphering the language as a new Indo-European language.
Yuri Knorosov. In the early 1950s he laid the groundwork for the decipherment of the Mayan script.
Michael Ventris. Between 1951 and 1953 he studied the script known as linear B and managed to attribute sounds to the different signs, proving that said script was nothing more than a syllabic system to transcribe Mycenaean Greek.
Writes not decrypted
There is a significant number of writings not deciphered or insufficiently known to identify their content or the language in which they are written. A list of these scriptures includes:
Linear Elamite (frequently called Proto-Elamite), appears attested for the first time in the fourth millennium BC. C. in the same region where cuneiform Elamite later appeared documented, presumably this script would have been used initially for the Elamite language, although because the esc