Books et al.Semiotics

Making the rounds

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Science  02 Jun 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6341, pp. 914
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan2873

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Many of the almost 300 illus­trations found in Manuel Lima's The Book of Circles open up portals to other worlds. Among them, we find one of the earliest pie charts, created in 1805 to visualize the area of different states in America; a yet-to-be-deciphered disk, produced in 1700 B.C.E. on the island of Crete; and a finely detailed Korean star chart, based on a stone engraving from 1395. The images come from different times and places and afford glimpses into different systems of knowledge and preoccupations. What unites them is their reliance on the same elemental shape.