T11his capability to pass on ideas to us across generations, offer directions to reveal, communicate ideas throughout the abyss of room and time has actually made it possible to make excellent strides in our understanding of the world, good understanding and self-understanding.
To understand how writing began, we must go to ancient Sumer, where writing first began to be used extensively. Yes, you see potters and merchants.
You see the streets and also gardens. However what do you see towering over all of it? Temples. These holy places play a big function in why writing started. Due to the fact that Sumer was the country of the first genuine cities in the globe.
Not hundreds of individuals or hundreds of individuals, yet together tens of thousands. As well as these cities created city-states, unified by the prayer of a particular group of gods. Individuals controlled watering as well as cities grew. And also as cities expanded, so did the holy places for the gods.
These massive, vast temple complexes they did not serve only as tabernacles.
No, take a closer look. Do you see those males bringing jugs packed with grain below? These temples also functioned as huge storehouses. Repository for the tremendous wide range of the city. In good times, gifts streamed in.
And in tough times, they were divided back. This system developed a substantial riches for the clergyman, yet he also guaranteed that cities of this dimension could function. We don’t care now. Look following to the males that carry the grain. Do you see a man seeing them?
Keep in mind that whenever they bring a jug of grain, he will certainly make a little mark on his clay table.
With such an economy, with lots of supplies, moving to and from the temple every day, they needed to keep records somehow. That table will be saved later, so that the priests may know exactly what they have at hand in their giant temple storehouse.
Scribes were looking for faster and easier ways to record commodities, they did not laboriously draw every sub-item brought to the temple, but instead they came to a mutually agreed set of more symbolic representations for goods flowing into holy places. And you can see how someone could happen, that these symbols need not only represent the concept of something, but also the word itself.
Which’s precisely what occurred.
The symbol for the cow was understood not only as a representative of the animal, but also as a word cow. However still, with a thousand nouns, you can’t do a lot. As well as here comes a happy etymological coincidence. Do you see the people at the holy place speaking with each other?
It would sound like everyone was saying the same thing over and over again if you could hear them. This is due to the fact that Sumerian is a language where most words are simply syllables and also where the terms are made up of word make-up. Both of these factors are very important due to the fact that when most of your words are monosyllabic, it is very easy not to consider a symbol as a word, yet as a sound for that word. Stop thinking about a symbol suggesting a word and also begin to assume regarding the general definition of its noise, which can indicate more particular points. As soon as you do this, you will certainly not attract pictures for each word in the language.
Currently you start to think about photos as noises as well as incorporating sounds with each other allows you to develop various words.
As well as when you incorporate that keeping that in Sumerian a number of terms were based upon simple words, as an example, a sickle plus grain might mean a harvest, so there is a quantum of what you can do with principles as well as sounds, which represent hundreds of images. We’re not done. Due to the fact that exactly how the scribes composed has actually transformed the means we write in Western nations today. Do you remember how our pal in the holy place adds grain?
See how he writes from top to bottom, just as you would write a list. And if you accidentally rest your hand while writing from top to bottom, you can easily delete the entire column you just typed.
However this risk is reduced if you start composing from delegated right. Enough people in the temple didn’t like the innovation. It was much easier for scribes, however various other literate people, that had to read it picked up from leading to bottom, so they really did not like this laterally composing. What did the scribes do? They simply revolved all the characters 90 degrees so that one might turn the table and also review it inside out customarily.
Soon people read characters written sideways from left to. This writing system was then adopted by the neighboring Akkad and Elamites, who generalized it even more.
As well as now you have a real composing system.
Which means instead of a handful of nouns to be written to stock lists here we have a writing system that can give us abstract and lyrical things like the Epic of Gilgamesh or Enum elish. Funny thing about clay: When a place burns down and all your records are on clay, instead of being destroyed, they harden and remain.
Yet it will not happen here for some time. So let’s praise scribes like this and the wonderful city of Sumer for what they gave us. A gift that lasted us more than five and a half thousand years. Writing. Since we don’t get to the False Episodes for these one-offs, I want to emphasize that this is only the first place in history where writing has flourished.
It will later develop independently in Mesoamerica and was almost certainly developed independently in China. There is a great deal of controversy over whether it has developed independently in the Indus Valley and Egypt. From what we have read, which is far from enough for a layman’s opinion, I believe that both groups have inherited the basic concept from Sumer. If you liked this attempt and you are interested in the history of ideas as well as the history of companies and people, let us know in the comments. If so, we’ll try to do it sometimes.
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