T11his capability to pass on ideas to us across generations, provide directions to share, interact suggestions throughout the abyss of area and time has actually made it feasible to make terrific strides in our understanding of the world, good understanding as well as 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 streets and gardens. These temples play a big role in why writing began.
Not hundreds of people or thousands of people, but together tens of thousands. And as cities grew, so did the temples for the gods.
These massive, vast temple complexes they did not serve only as tabernacles.
Do you see those men bringing jugs full of grain here? These temples also served as huge warehouses.
And in tough times, they were split back. This system developed a big wide range for the priest, yet he additionally made certain that cities of this dimension might function. We don’t care now. Look next to the men who lug the grain. Do you see a guy viewing them?
Keep in mind that whenever they bring a container of grain, he will make a small mark on his clay table.
With such an economic climate, with great deals of supplies, moving to and also from the temple everyday, they required to keep records in some way. As well as that’s exactly what he does. That table will certainly be saved later on, so that the priests might recognize precisely what they have at hand in their large temple warehouse. 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 tiny image of a grain stalk alongside his documents, so it is clear that his information describe grain. For generations, this great little drawing of grain has actually been simplified. More abstract. Scribes were trying to find faster as well as easier ways to record products, they did not busily attract every sub-item offered the temple, yet instead they pertained to an equally concurred collection of more symbolic representations for items streaming right into sanctuaries. And you can see just how someone might occur, that these icons need not just stand for the idea of something, but likewise 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. Do you see the people at the temple talking to 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 begin to think of images as sounds and also combining sounds together permits you to create various words.
As well as when you incorporate that with that said in Sumerian a variety of terms were based on simple words, as an example, a sickle plus grain can imply a harvest, so there is a quantum of what you can do with sounds and concepts, which stand for thousands of images. However we’re not done yet. Since exactly how the scribes wrote has altered the means we compose in Western countries today. Do you keep in mind how our close friend in the temple 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.
This risk is reduced if you start writing from left to. It was easier for scribes, but other literate people, who had to read it learned from top to bottom, so they didn’t like this sideways writing.
Soon people read characters written sideways from left to. However because they were upside down, they were extra abstract currently. Even much more various from the things and pictures they made use of to represent. This composing system was then adopted by the neighboring Akkad and also Elamites, that generalised it much more. Variables or tiny personalities have actually also been included in identify which part of the speech was which, to stay clear of ambiguity.
And 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 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 harden and remain.
Let’s praise scribes like this and the wonderful city of Sumer for what they gave us. Writing.
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. We’ll try to do it sometimes if so.
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