Mesopotamia writing and language development

The origin of primitive writing systems. As a natural process of renovation of world civilizations, ice ages come. Blanketing most of the Southern and Northern Hemispheres of the earth planet with trillions of tons of ice for millions of years they bury and destroy all the civilizations in its area. It stretches up to the major parts of Europe including England.

Mesopotamia writing and language development

As Sumerian towns grew into cities, the people needed a way to keep track of business transactions, ownership rights, and government records.

Mesopotamia the Development of Written Language

Around BC the Sumerians began to use picture symbols marked into clay tablets to keep their records. Sumerian Writing by Unknown Symbols were made with wedge shaped marks on clay tablets Clay Tablets Writing was inscribed on clay tablets. Scribes would take a stylus a stick made from a reed and press the lines and symbols into soft, moist clay.

Once they were done, they would let the clay harden and they had a permanent record. Cuneiform The initial writing of the Sumerians utilized simple pictures or pictograms. Over time, however, the writing of the Sumerians further developed to include sounds and meanings.

Scribes would use the stylus to make wedge shaped marks in the clay. This type of writing is called cuneiform writing, which means "wedge-shaped". Translating Translating Mesopotamian writing is difficult for archeologists today. The symbols often changed over time as well. However, many Sumerian tablets have been deciphered.

This is how we know so much about Mesopotamian culture, government, and history. Literature While most of the tablets discovered have been government and financial records, some of the writings are literature.

Sumerian Cuneiform

This literature includes mythology of the Mesopotamian gods, tales of their heroes, poetry, and songs. Some of the writings include sayings of wisdom. The most famous and epic of all the Mesopotamian literature is the story Gilgamesh.

mesopotamia writing and language development

Go here to learn more about the Epic Tale of Gilgamesh. Interesting Facts About Sumerian Writing People signed items with personal seals made of stone, metal, or wood. Later Mesopotamian civilizations such as the Assyrians and the Babylonians used Sumerian writing. Cuneiform writing was around for thousands of years until it was replaced by the Phoenician alphabet near the end of the neo-Assyrian Empire.

Hieroglyphics was invented in Ancient Egypt about the same time as cuneiform in Mesopotamia, but scientists believe that cuneiform came first. As far as archeologists can tell, the Sumerian language is not related to any other language on Earth.

Cuneiform refers to the way a language is written, not necessarily a particular language. It was initially used in Mesopotamia to write Sumerian, but later was used for Akkadian which the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Babylonians, and the Assyrians all spoke.

Activities Take a ten question quiz about this page. Listen to a recorded reading of this page: Your browser does not support the audio element. Go here to learn how to write like a Babylonian: Learn More about Ancient Mesopotamia:The development of writing.

People living in southern Mesopotamia developed one of the earliest writing systems in the world. The system was developed so that information could be recorded. The earliest writing systems evolved independently and at roughly the same time in Egypt and Mesopotamia, but current scholarship suggests that Mesopotamia’s writing appeared first.

That writing system, invented by the Sumerians, emerged in Mesopotamia around BCE.

mesopotamia writing and language development

But as any system of writing and language develops over time into sometimes unrecognizable forms, the later forms of cuneiform are often (at least visually) very different from the original. Writing Over five thousand years ago, people living in Mesopotamia developed a form of writing to record and communicate different types of information.

The earliest writing was based on pictograms. Pictograms were used to communicate basic information about crops and taxes. Besides the Sumerian and Semitic languages, the Akkadian, Elamite, Hurrian, and Hittite languages also influenced the final development of the cuneiform writing system.

Writing was the exclusive province of the privileged scribal class. Cuneiform became the written language from as early as BC. As the civilization of Sumer started to decline, other civilizations continued to use the Sumerian written symbols. Thanks to the Sumerians, we know a great deal about the ancient Mesopotamian civilizations of Babylon and Assyria as well.

Mesopotamia - Wikipedia