The invention of writing

The invention of writing It is virtually certain that writing developed on the basis of earlier existing pictographs and ideographs.

The invention of writing

It is an administrative document concerning deliveries of three sorts of beer to different recipients to the palace and to a temple for offerings and gives the The invention of writing quantities of barley and other ingredients used in brewing. Max Planck Society Each Monday, this column turns a page in history to explore the discoveries, events and people that continue to affect the history being made today.

Humans had been speaking for a couple hundred thousand years before they got the inspiration or nerve to mark their ideas down for posterity. But when a Mesopotamian people called the Sumerians finally did scratch out a few bookkeeping symbols on clay tablets 5, years ago, they unknowingly started a whole new era in history we call, well … history.

In most places, writing started about the same time ancient civilizations emerged from hunter-gatherer communities, probably as a way to keep track of the new concept of "property," such as animals, grain supplies or land.

When memory failed When ancient Mesopotamians started settling down onto farms surrounding the first cities, life became a bit more complicated.

The invention of writing

Agriculture required expertise and detailed recordkeeping, two elements that led directly to the invention of writing, historians say. Officials began using standardized symbols — rather than, say, an actual picture of a goat — to represent commodities, scratched into soft clay tablets with a pointed reed that had been cut into a wedge shape.

Archaeologists call this first writing "cuneiform," from the Latin "cuneus," meaning wedge. The system developed quickly to incorporate signs that represented sounds, and soon all of Mesopotamia was taking notes, making to-do lists and presumably writing love letters.

Egyptian writing — the famous hieroglyphics — developed independently not long thereafter, under similar circumstances, historians think. A few thousand years later, as variations on the two systems spread throughout the region, the entire ancient world had writing schemes that vastly improved the efficiency of economies, the accountability of governments and, maybe most importantly to us, our understanding of the past.

The invention of writing

Daily life in Mesopotamia and Egypt was time-consuming, and so writing became a specialized profession, usually for members of the elite class.

The highly-regarded scribes of ancient Mesopotamia were even depicted in art wearing cuneiform writing implements a bit like a set of chopsticks in their belts as a mark of their importance.

Literacy remained a privilege of aristocratic males in most societies all the way until the 19th-century, when public education became more widespread around the world.

That means that while the historical period is exponentially better understood than the experiences of humans before writing was invented, written accounts are largely about the experiences of the upper classes, historians say.

About one in five people today, concentrated mostly in Third World nations, are illiterate.The history of writing traces the development of expressing language by letters or other marks and also the studies and descriptions of these developments..

In the history of how writing systems have evolved over in different human civilizations, more complete writing systems were preceded by proto-writing, systems of ideographic or early mnemonic symbols. Pounce is a fine powder, most often made from powdered cuttlefish bone, that was used both to dry ink and to sprinkle on a rough writing surface to make it smooth enough for last was certainly needed if the paper came "unsized", that is, lacking the thin gelatinous material used to fill the surface of the paper and make it smooth enough for writing with a quill or a steel nib.

A lexicon of Sumerian which is organized on the basis of phonetic structure, starting with phonetically simple structures and progressing to more complex phonetic structures, has revealed the process by which the proto-Sumerians invented their language. So the writing, when it was first discovered in the 19th century, was called cuneiform from the Latin word cuneus, wedge—wedge-shaped writing.

Cuneiform refers to the writing system, not the language that’s being expressed. For the next step toward the development of an alphabet, we must go to Egypt where picture writing had developed sometime near the end of the 4th millennium BC. One of the earliest examples is the name of NAR-MER, either the first or second Pharoah of an united Egypt in BCE.

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History of Writing