Alphabets The word alphabet as we know it comes from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha and beta. When the Greeks adapted the Phoenician alphabet to write Greek, they became the first civilization to create the very first true alphabet with a symbol assigned for each vowel and consonant.
With it, you could send messages to a friends that no one else could read. Or perhaps you remember using special symbols to write notes to your "squeeze" in class. If the note was interceptedyour teacher, could learn nothing about your romance.
In more serious uses, codes and ciphers are used by our military and diplomatic forces to keep confidential information from unauthorized eyes. Businesses also send data that has been encoded to try and protect trade secrets and back-room deals.
After all, you wouldn't want your competitor to know that you were about to acquire their company with a leveraged buy-out. If you don't know Greek and not many of us do the above letters could be a form of code themselves!
Although the distinction is fuzzy, ciphers are different from codes. When you substitute one word for another word or sentence, like using a foreign language dictionary, you are using a code. When you mix up or substitute existing letters, you are using a cipher.
I told you the difference was fuzzy, and you can combine codes and ciphers by substituting one word for another and then mixing up the result. We'll concentrate on ciphers.
For a cipher to be useful, several things must be known at both the sending and receiving ends. The algorithm or method used to encipher the original message known as the plaintext.
The key used with the algorithm to allow the plaintext to be both enciphered and deciphered. The period or time during which the key is valid. By way of analogy, to get into your home you would put a key in a lock to open the door.
This process the use of a key and a lock is the method or algorithm. Now this method only works if you have the proper key to stick in the lock, and your key will be valid only as long as you are the resident of the particular abode.
The next resident will have the locks changed to a different key to make sure that you cannot enter even though you may know the method.
|Earliest ABCDs?||Share3 Shares The need to conceal the meaning of important messages has existed for thousands of years. Over time, people have found increasingly complex ways of encoding their messages as the simpler ways are decoded with greater ease.|
|Egyptian Hieroglyphic Writing||To put this in perspective — most modern countries count their histories in hundreds of years.|
The selection of the above three items - algorithm, key and period - depend on your needs. If you are in the battlefield and are receiving current tactical data, you want an algorithm that makes it easy to decipher the message in the heat of battle. On the other hand, you must also assume that your opponent has intercepted your enciphered message and is busy trying to break it.
Therefore you must choose an algorithm method that is complicated enough so that by the time your opponent figures it out, the data will be worthless. The easier the algorithm you choose, the more often you will have to change the key that unlocks the code - if you want to keep your enemy in the dark.
Ciphers are broken into two main categories; substitution ciphers and transposition ciphers. Substitution ciphers replace letters in the plaintext with other letters or symbols, keeping the order in which the symbols fall the same.
Transposition ciphers keep all of the original letters intact, but mix up their order. The resulting text of either enciphering method is called the ciphertext. Of course, you can use both methods, one after the other, to further confuse an unintended receiver as well.
To get a feel for these methods, let's take a look at some ciphers. Substitution ciphers and decoder rings We use substitution ciphers all the time. Actually, substitution ciphers could properly be called codes in most cases.
Morse code, shorthand, semaphore, and the ASCII code with which these characters are being stored in inside my Macintosh are all examples.
The only difference between these and the spy codes is that the above examples are standardized so that everybody knows them. The Captain Midnight decoder ring which is an "encoder" ring as well allows you to do a simple substitution cipher.
It usually has two concentric wheels of letters, A through Z. You rotate the outside ring and substitute the letters in your message found on the outside ring with the letters directly below on the inside ring see diagram.
Here, the algorithm is to offset the alphabet and the key is the number of characters to offset it. Julius Caesar used this simple scheme, offsetting by 3 characters He would have put the "A" on the outer ring of letters over the "D" on the inner ring if he had owned a Captain Midnight decoder ring.
Substitution cipher wheels Click here to download a copy of the cypher wheels 12k PDF. Copy and cut out the two wheels.
Place the smaller wheel on top of the larger wheel and rotate them so your "key letter" on the small wheel is beneath the "A" of the large wheel.In Knorozov published the paper "Ancient Writing of Central America", arguing that the so-called "de Landa alphabet" contained in Bishop Diego de Landa's manuscript Relación de las Cosas de Yucatán was made of syllabic, rather than alphabetic symbols.
I think that when we are talking about decoding ancient languages we need to have some prerequisites in mind:) an ancient language is a written language.
so, decoding "that" ancient language generates the need of decoding the writing and the language - grammar, words etc. in some cases, we know the script but not the language itself. we need a bilingual inscription to decode the language.
it. Steganography is more ancient than codes and ciphers, and is the art of hidden writing. For example, a message might be written on paper, coated with wax, and . Reading the Past: Ancient Writing From Cuneiform to the Alphabet [J. T. Hooker] on initiativeblog.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
Hardcover reprint of the British Museum volume. Contains works on a variety of early alphabets and writing systems important to archeological study of early and classic civilizations/5(2).
Writing is the physical manifestation of a spoken language. It is thought that human beings developed language c. 35, BCE as evidenced by cave paintings from the period of the Cro-Magnon Man (c. 50,, BCE) which appear to express concepts concerning daily life.
Steganography is more ancient than codes and ciphers, and is the art of hidden writing. For example, a message might be written on paper, coated with wax, and .