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The Earliest Forms of Writing . Written language developed as hunter-gatherers developed more permanent agrarian societies. Agrarian - Agrarian is defined as an agricultural society or farming communities. What need did writing fulfill? .

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slide2

Written language developed as hunter-gatherers developed more permanent agrarian societies.

Agrarian - Agrarian is defined as an agricultural society or farming communities.

what need did writing fulfill
What need did writing fulfill?

In it’s earliest forms writing was developed as a way to keep a permanent record of land, grain, and cattle.

The earliest known written language is known as cuneiform . It is an elaborate system of symbols that were created using a stylus made of reed that was pressed into soft clay tablets and then allowed to harden.

This writing system was developed in Sumer some 5,000 years ago.

listen to a brief history of the written language
Listen to a Brief History of the Written Language

The picture to the left is a sample of cuneiform writing.

This writing system became more developed and eventually was used for recording historical and political events. It was also used as a means to record legends such as the story of Gilgamesh, the oldest written story in the world.

slide5

The Technology of Writing Rapidly Evolved

  • What was once used primarily as a means for accounting exploded into a way to:
  • Inform
  • Record
  • Express political, social, cultural, historical and private thoughts
hieroglyphics
Hieroglyphics
  • Developed in Egypt at the end of the 4th Millennium B.C.
  • Referred to as a “one sign – one sound” system of writing and is regarded as the 1st alphabet.
slide7

China is Also One of the Earliest Civilizations to Create a Written Language

Unique to China, theirs is the only writing system that has not been replaced over the years. Instead their system has evolved as a working script from 1600 B.C to today.

review questions
Review Questions

Please complete the review exercise. If you have trouble with a question simply double click the question and it will bring you to the slide where you can find the correct answer.

  • What is an agrarian society?

a. A society where people often move around

b. Agricultural society or farming community

c. Hunters and Gatherers

d. A society centered around learning

slide9

Why was writing first developed?

a. To share stories

b. To keep a record of birth

c. To keep a count of land, grain and cattle

d. To make laws

What is the first known written language?

a. Phoenician

b. Cuneiform

c. Hieroglyphics

d. Semitic

slide10

What people developed cuneiform?

a. Chinese

b. Egyptians

c. Mayans

d. Sumerians

What is the oldest written story in the world?

a. The Iliad

b. The Odyssey

c. Gilgamesh

d. Ali Baba

slide11

Who developed Hieroglyphics?

a. The Incas

b. The Sumerians

c. The Egyptians

d. The Japanese

What does the Sumerian word “sang” mean?

a. Singer

b. Accountant

c. Herdsman

d. Scribe

slide12

The discovery of what stone enabled scholars to decipher the meaning of some of the hieroglyphics?

a. The Rock of Gibraltar

b. The Sword in the Stone

c. The Stalagmite

d. The Rosetta Stone

What ancient civilizations written language is still in use today?

a. China

b. Egypt

c. Mayan

d. Sumerian

slide13

What are some other uses for writing besides accounting?

a. Inform

b. Record

c. Expression

d. All of the above

the following resources were used to create this power point presentation
The following resources were used to create this power point presentation:
  • Picture of Cuneiform, http://ete.usf.edu/clipart/19200/19279/cuneiform
  • http://www.pbs.org/opd/histroydetectives/investigations/304_word.html
  • Picture of Hieroglyphics, http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/hieroglyphics.jpg
  • Picture of Chinese writing, http://www.ancientscripts.com/chinese.html
  • Information on the audio file was taken from, http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ab33