Writing- Preserving our Collective memory

With the invention of writing, humans beings made the transition from a Pre historic culture to a history one. this is because- in principle, at least -writing enables us to record the past for the benefit of generations yet to come. Considering the revolutionary potential of this new invention, it is slightly disappointing to learn that it was first used for documenting trade transactions, a task that seems to have taken precedence over the innermost thoughts of our distant ancestors.

Where did the first writing system emerge?

Writing- Preserving our Collective memoryThe earliest known examples of writing were discovered in the Sumerian city of Uruk in Mesopotamia. They are thought to have been produced in about 3300 BC- very early in the history of this advanced civilization. the famous King Hammurabi- under whose rule the Code of Hammurabi was drawn up- did not live until some 1500 years later.

The first writing systems seem to have been photographic. The symbol for eat, for example, clearly depicts a head next to a bowl, but this literal of things and symbols vanished over the course of the centuries. As the use of a blunt reed called a widespread, writing became  wedge- shaped which gave rise to the name Cuneiform script(Which means wedge-Shaped).

Cuneiform script makes up what is known as a logo graphic writing system, a system in which a single word is represented by one symbol. Over time, the stock of symbols in logo graphic writing systems tends to become rather large. Chinese, for example, which also has a logo graphic writing system, Uses about 50 000 symbols of which 4000 to 7000 are in common use. Faced with this sort of complexity, it is clear why the development of alphabetic writing systems is regarded as being of equal importance to the invention of the wheel.

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