T11his ability to hand down concepts to us across generations, give guidelines to express, connect concepts across the abyss of area and also time has made it feasible to make wonderful strides in our understanding of deep space, mutual 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 merchants and potters.

You see the gardens and streets. These temples play a big role in why writing began.

Not hundreds of people or hundreds of people, yet together tens of thousands. As well as these cities created city-states, joined by the praise of a certain team of gods. People managed irrigation and also cities expanded. And also as cities expanded, so did the temples for the gods.

These massive, vast temple complexes they did not serve only as tabernacles.

No, take a closer look. Do you see those guys bringing jugs full of grain right here? These holy places also served as substantial warehouses. Database for the tremendous riches of the city. In good times, presents flowed in.

Look next to the men who carry the grain. Do you see a man watching them?

Keep in mind that whenever they bring a container of grain, he will make a tiny mark on his clay table.

With such an economy, with whole lots of supplies, moving to and from the holy place every day, they needed to maintain documents somehow. Which’s specifically what he does. That table will certainly be saved later on, to make sure that the clergymans might understand specifically what they contend hand in their huge holy place storehouse. Even though brands have their place in the original writing, there is something much more interesting for us on this damp piece of clay that he holds.

He drew a little image of a grain stalk following to his records, so it is clear that his information describe grain. For generations, this great little illustration of grain has actually been simplified. A lot more abstract. Scribes were trying to find faster and also simpler ways to tape assets, they did not busily draw every sub-item brought to the temple, however instead they came to an equally concurred collection of more symbolic depictions for items flowing into holy areas. And you can see how a person can happen, that these signs need not just stand for the concept of something, yet also the word itself.

Which’s exactly what happened.

The symbol for the cow was understood not only as a representative of the animal, but also as a word cow. But still, with a thousand nouns, you can’t do much. As well as here comes a delighted linguistic coincidence. Do you see individuals at the temple speaking with each other?

Both of these points are important because when many of your words are monosyllabic, it is easy not to think of a symbol as a word, but as a sound for that word. Stop thinking of a symbol indicating a word and begin to think about the general meaning of its sound, which can indicate more specific things.

Currently you start to consider images as sounds as well as combining noises together allows you to create various words.

And when you combine that with that in Sumerian a number of terms were based on simple words, for example, a sickle plus grain could mean a harvest, so there is a quantum of what you can do with sounds and concepts, which represent thousands of images. Because how the scribes wrote has changed the way we write in Western countries today.

Did the pens on the clay table? See him write. See just how he writes inside out, equally as you would certainly compose a checklist. That will transform soon, since the issue with clay is that it takes for life to completely dry. And also if you accidentally rest your hand while writing inside out, you can easily delete the whole column you just typed.

But this danger is reduced if you begin creating from entrusted to right. Enough people in the temple didn’t like the innovation. It was much easier for scribes, but various other literate individuals, who needed to review it found out from top to bottom, so they didn’t like this sideways composing. What did the scribes do? They simply revolved all the characters 90 degrees so that one can transform the table as well as review it from top to base as usual.

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.

And also now you have an actual writing 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 lyrical and abstract 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 remain and harden.

It won’t happen here for a while. 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 people and companies, let us know in the comments. If so, we’ll try to do it sometimes.



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