Assignment 1

Chapter 1: The Invention of Writing


In my last class, I learned a lot of new information. I learned about “The Invention of Writing.” Writing plays a major factor in our everyday lives, without it the world would be a different place. It’s interesting to learn about the history of Written Language. Without writing, it would be hard to remember things, express ourselves non- verbally and most importantly not be able to tell stories. Those were the reasons why Mesopotamia was the first to come up with a written language.

Before written language, early people started visible language with simple pictures. These simple pictures were used to communicate ideas and to record and transmit information.  These markings were found in Africa to North America. Early Africans left painting and markings in many different caves. This visual communication is considered Petroglyphs which is a drawing or carving on a rock, made by a member of a prehistoric people. A Lot of these carvings can be considered a Pictograph, which are pictorial symbols for a word or phrase. Some can also be considered a Ideographs which is a written character symbolizing the idea of a thing without indicating the sounds used to say it.

Mesopotamia wanted to be able to remember facts and keep a record of things like “How much food was stored?” or “Who delivered their taxes in the form of crops?” A person who writes down information is called a scribe, they have to go to school for years to learn to be one. A scribe used clay mud tablet to write on and a reed stylus to write with. Their writing was top to bottom and from left to right. Once the scribe is done writing they leave the clay out in the sun to dry. Once the clay is dry the writing can last forever.

Mesopotamia started to using their written language for Identifying ownership of property and the specialization for trades. They started to brand things like Cattle and pottery. This was another way of not allowing spoofs and forgery. There were small cylinders that had images and writing going all around it. Once the cylinder was pressed and rolled on clay, the words came on the clay. This was used for owners so they can ‘Trademark” their work.

The Invention of writing came a long way, it wasn’t just something that was discovered overnight. Writing now compared to writing before is completely different. Writing back then was a privilege to learn and now learning to write is much easier. Without writing it would be hard to remember things, express ourselves non- verbally and most importantly not being able to tell stories thankfully that isn’t a problem for us anymore.