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Plain tokens appeared when agriculture began (in Mesopotamia)
Complex tokens appeared about the same time as cities there (circa 4000 B.C.E.)
The first writing appeared about 3200 B.C.E.
Writing was used only for accounting until about 2700 B.C.E.
“ Before 2700 … writing is only accounting . To recall what comes in the temple or the palace, and what comes out. So-and-so much gold, so-and-so many sheep, so-and-so many bushels of grain. It’s only numbers and the thing counted . And then, at some point, the name of who it belongs to . That’s it.” — Interview with Denise Schmandt-Besserat http:// www.kenyonreview.org/interviews/schmandt.php