Essay on Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, And China

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It is difficult to define the origins of written language. Of course, forms of systematic writing developed concurrently across the globe, in addition to inter-region differentiation in written communication. Furthermore, the common use of pictograms in the earliest forms of writing present an additional challenge: requiring archaeologists to establish a fundamental difference between the representations of culture in artwork, and similar information denoted in a formal writing system. The discussion in class did not broach this conundrum, and neither did the textbook, yet I found the lack of specificity puzzling. Are cave paintings not a pictographic representation of hunting ritual and cultural practices? Regardless, archaeologists have worked to develop a working knowledge of the antecedents of modern language. In particular, the class text and other resources focus on the development and use of systematic writing in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China. The most prolific of early writing systems, cuneiform, is rooted in the historical development of writing in the region of Mesopotamia. In this region, writing itself evolved from simple markings denoting ownership of property. When an owner of a specific good pressed their seal into a wet clay it would signify the individual to which the object belonged to. In some cases, the seals, often carved from soapstone, would be used to create a seal for a closed container. In the case that the seal was broken and the…

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