On the Trail of the Earliest People – History of Writing

History of writing

History of writing: Language originated even before writing. All social animals do communicate, but it is only humans who developed something called a language. Languages are more organized and well transmittable than a set of signals. There is no evidence that from which era language existed but probably it must have emerged with sapiens and the Genus Homo. Yet, we must admit that the origin of human language is still obscure.

The writing was primarily developed by expressing language by symbols and other marks. It is believed that writing numbers with an objective of keeping records started much before the writing of languages. Writing is a physical expression of spoken language. Based on the cave paintings, it is believed that humans developed language somewhere around the period of Cro-Magnon Man (43, 000 to 45,000 years before present). Those cave paintings seems to convey a message or a story rather than just the pictures of animals and birds.

History of writing
Cuneiform Script

However, the written language is believed to have developed only around 3500 – 3000 BCE in Sumer (southern Mesopotamia). These early writings were known as cuneiform. Cuneiforms were made of marks made on clay. It is thought that the writing form of Egyptians was also developed from Mesopotamian cuneiforms. Phenicia has the credit to produce the earliest phonetic writing systems of the Greeks, and later the Romans.

However, when we discuss about the early history of writing, it is the Sumerians first invented writing. They used writings for long-distance communications which were devised in trade. As the cities grew in Mesopotamia, long-distance trades also developed. This compelled people to communicate in writing between the cities. Most of the communications found were related to trade and commerce.

There are more interesting stories from the past about humans and his evolution. If you love to read about the early humans, read On the Trail of the Earliest People – the First Humans. You may also read about the history of pottery here.

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