Invention of writing

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Invention of writing

  1. 1. Invention of WritingInvention of Writing ∆ρ −− Ηυσσειν Αλ−Θυδραη
  2. 2. OneOne of the major elements in the development of civilization was the invention of writing. ItsIts original purpose was probably to leave messages and to keep track of financial and other transactions, but with the ability to accumulate and preserve knowledge almost every aspect of human life was transformed. InIn the late Neolithic period, records had been kept using small tokens in the shape of disks, spheres, half spheres, cones, and other figures, some of which were marked with incisions.
  3. 3. LatelyLately, in the middle of the 4th millennium BC, as cities and large-scale trade developed, the use of tokens to maintain records became too cumbersome. The Mesopotamians substituted written images known as ideographs for the tokens. InIn the late period of the 4th millennium BC, these ideographs evolved into a series of wedge-shaped marks that could be impressed on a clay tablet quickly and easily with a split reed. The system of wedge-shaped marks on clay is known as Cuneiform which was adopted by the Sumerians [1]. [1] Cuneiform signs formed the basis of the earliest known alphabet, which was devised around 1400 BC at Ugarit, on the northern Syrian coast. But the earliest such semi-alphabetic writing is found in the so-called Proto-Sinaitic inscriptions, which date back to about 1500 BC
  4. 4. AroundAround 3000 BC, shortly after the Sumerian invention of cuneiform, the Egyptians introduced a system of writing that is somewhat misleadingly known as hieroglyphics, but Egyptian hieroglyphs were used for funerary and commemorative inscriptions as well as religious ones and were often painted or written on papyrus [1]. ItIt is possible that the development of Egyptian writing came as a result of Sumerian stimulus. System of writing also developed, at a later date, in the Indus Valley, in China, in Aegean, in Anatolia, and in Mesoamerica. [1] A material woven from the reeds that grew along the Nile River.
  5. 5. TheThe earliest writing in India dates back to the Indus valley civilization, which flourished between 3000 and 2000 BC in what is now Pakistan. SmallSmall, square seal-stones were carved with picture signs, often accompanied by animals. The script has never been deciphered, however. WithWith the disappearance of the Indus valley culture, knowledge of writing seems to have been lost for a few centuries. By 600 BC, the Aryan invaders of India had developed an alphabetic script. UnderUnder the Maurya dynasty (4th - 2nd century BC) the Brahman, ancestor of all modern Indian scripts, was firmly established.
  6. 6. TheThe beginning of writing in China is difficult to trace. Its first surviving appearance is in the form of divination inscriptions on shells and bones worked by the Lung Shan people around 2000 BC and found far greater numbers at Anyang and other Shang sites of the late 2nd millennium BC. OracleOracle bonesbones (Anyang bones): it was the first form of Chinese writing. WhenWhen the priest wanted to ask ancestor spirits a question, he wrote the question on a piece of bone, he then put the bone into the fire until it cracked, then ‘read’ the marks. This system is known as scapulimancy.
  7. 7. TheThe Chinese system of writing remains virtually unique in retaining its non-alphabetic form, the objects of everyday life were represented by simple pictures, each character was given a phonetic sound, consisting of one syllable. MostMost other written languages in the world developed an alphabetic system, many of them directly or indirectly based on the earliest alphabet of all, the Semitic. OneOne of the earliest decipherable inscriptions in alphabetic writing is the calendar found at the Canaanite site of Gezer, dating to the 11th century BC. TheThe words roughly scratched on a schoolchild’s tablet of soft limestone, consist of a poem describing the principal agricultural occupations of the seasons.
  8. 8. InIn the New World the Mayans had formed a complex system of hieroglyphic writing as early as the 4th century AD. TheThe signs were based on pictures, and most of the surviving examples take the form of monumental inscriptions carved in stone. They were the first Americans to develop picture writing. OtherOther Mesoamerican people developed their own script, notably the Aztecs and the Mixtecs, and used them in extended manuscripts known as codices. With the arrival of Europeans, the Roman alphabet replaced hieroglyphic systems.
  9. 9. When it rains you don’t see the sun… but it’s there …..

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