Apart from wines: Paleography (Part I)

Quite a lot of times, we say wines are a mix of arts and science. Probably that is why it is not that easy to 'thoroughly' understand wines. It's not easy - you got to be an artist to appreciate the beauty of wines and the culture behind; on the other hand, you got to be a scientist to understand winemaking as it is indeed a chemical process (the alcoholic fermentation) involving some microorganism (the yeast).

Grown up in Hong Kong, and being educated all through my primary school and secondary school years, it seemed to me arts and science are rivalry. They were separated into two 'streams' in the school - I could only choose either Arts or Science. Arts subjects include History, Geography, Chinese History, etc., whereas Science subjects include Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc. Since then, my world was split into two.

Until I started working in the wine industry, and being told that wines are a mix of arts and science - I realized that my world has become one again.

Although I chose the Science stream, but I have never given up Arts. I practice western calligraphy, I could stay at museum and just be there staring at an artpiece from different angles for half an hour. So, I am really glad to be immersed in the 'One World' again now - wine is like a glue that put Arts and Science together.

Tonight, I was reading some books about letters. Then I came across a word that reminded me of another subject which I was interested in some years ago. Apart from wines, that is a subject that puts Arts and Science together. It is called 'Paleography'.

It is a study of ancient writing. Somehow, it is a scientific study of an artform. It requires analytical skills and a strong sense of ordering in order to decipher and recognize the words, hence identify when the words were written.

One who is reading here may ask, who would want to know when the words were written, and why there is the need to do that. I will answer that in next piece of writing.

(To be continued)

P.S. If you want to play a little game and get a touch of what 'Paleography' is about, please visit check out the website HERE.

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