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Pastor Rick Profile
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Early writing


I don't know why but I had this sudden urge to try and find the earliest writing in the world!

I found ]this article which says 5000BC in Romania.

Then article showing Hebrew at maybe 1000BC.

Then ]this article which says 3500BC.

Then ]this article that claims 5000BC in Bulgaria.

Then ]this one that says 900BC in North America.

Then last but not least ]this article gives the suggestion that the earliest writing was about 6200-6600BC!!!

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10/16/2009, 12:14 am Link to this post Send e-mail to   Send PM to Blog
 
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Re: Early writing


WOW..... emoticon

Isn't the internet awesome? Do you know how long you would have spent in some Library researching that but a few short years ago....

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10/16/2009, 8:27 am Link to this post Send e-mail to   Send PM to Blog
 
Pastor Rick Profile
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Re: Early writing


It is almost too much... you have to sort through old and outdated material to find the newest discoveries. I could have spent months going from library to library though to get what I found in about a hour on the Internet! emoticon

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10/16/2009, 9:33 pm Link to this post Send e-mail to   Send PM to Blog
 
Morwen Oronor Profile
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Re: Early writing


It depends on what you think of as 'writing' if you're looking for language then it would have to be the first people who wrote records of business transactions but if you're prepared to accept pictograms then you also have to accept that man evolved and had a different form to what we consider 'modern man' and some of the pre-modern man cave drawings would have to be the oldest form of writing:

]Like this

Here's a ]Wikipedia page.

It very much depends on what you think of as 'writing' and how you see cave drawings.
I believe, as do a lot of historians, that they were an early attempt at story-telling on the one hand and art on the other.

These were before people started trading in earnest.
When people had to go beyond counting on their figures and toes, they used piece of clay on which they made marks to count and keep records of trade.
With the settlement of Sumer and Akkad accepted as the first modern human civilizations, their clay tablets with their form of cuneiform writing has to be the oldest modern writing.
If you accept that the story of Abraham leaving Ur to settle his family in Palestine, long after Sumer and Akkad as the 'truth' then any Hebrew writing would have to come after that time.
The Egyptians started using hieroglyphics around 3200 BCE, which is roughly in the same era, so any Hebrew writing would have to come after this.
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Re: Early writing


No, you do not have to accept evolution to accept evidence Mo. You accept evidence then you try to determine what the evidence means. The Harper-Collins article took a leap and said that since the oldest homo-sapien fossils they knew about were dated 9000 before the cave paintings then they must come from a ancestor of the modern human.

In point of fact we have since discovered skeletons of modern man dating 1000 years earlier than the cave paintings ]here and we also know now that the group of beings who painted those pictures belonged to a totally separate species which lived at the same time.


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Re: Early writing


Would you then accept that cave paintings could be an early form of communication rather than just art?
10/17/2009, 10:26 am Link to this post Send PM to Blog
 
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Re: Early writing


The paintings would seem to indicate intelligence and I desire to share experience with others but then again so does any form of art. If the paintings expressed a non-physical concept (such as math or a sharing of ideas) I could see it as a precursor towards what we call writing. Likewise, if the same order and type of paintings were in many locations the that would indicate at a minimum that the skill was one being taught to others. But is that writing?

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Re: Early writing


I would say that in the absence of a knowledge of the eventual emergence of a a skill as a norm, the initial portrayal of the ability of that skill is the beginnings of it.
For instance, an ape looking at a nut with the idea that it could be eaten if only the hard shell could be cracked, and then picking up a rock to smash it, could be seen to be the birth of the use of complex tools.
Just because people in other areas of pre-human settlement didn't depict the stories they wanted to share by drawing pictures, doesn't detract from the value of the pictures drawn by the people who did. It could be merely an indication of a better-developed brain.
In the same way that we regard the initial recognition and identification of shapes as being the beginnings of learning to read in children, and the ability to color within lines as being the beginnings of learning to write.
If a child can't recognise shapes and can't draw circles or color within lines, they're not ready to read and write yet, so yes, I would call early cave drawing the first attempts at imparting information graphically i.e. the very first beginnings of writing.
10/17/2009, 10:49 pm Link to this post Send PM to Blog
 
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Re: Early writing


On the other hand a cave painting is not portable and I think of writing as a way to share information with others over a distance. So maybe the cave paintings are just decorations without any real attempt to convey thoughts and ideas to others in a set manner...

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10/19/2009, 10:58 am Link to this post Send e-mail to   Send PM to Blog
 
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Re: Early writing


Unless the cave happens to be the communal meeting hall of the tribe, or the library where the stories of the tribe are stored for future generations to read the history of the tribe.
If you accept the idea that writing is only valid if it is portable then Augustus' Res Gestae is not a valid record of Augustus' achievements, the hieroglyphs on the temples of Egypt are just the scribblings of bored artists, the Sistine Chapel is not worth anything other than just a work of art, and every cenotaph bearing the names of people killed in war then has no value either.
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