Before then the Phoenicians wrote with a cuneiform script.
Mesoamerican writing systems A stone slab with 3,year-old writing, the Cascajal Blockwas discovered in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and is an example of the oldest script in the Western Hemisphere, preceding the oldest Zapotec writing dated to about BC.
The earliest inscriptions which are identifiably Maya date to the 3rd century BC, and writing was in continuous use until shortly after the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century AD.
Maya writing used logograms complemented by a set of syllabic glyphs: Iron Age writing[ edit ] Cippus PerusinusEtruscan writing near PerugiaItalythe precursor of the Latin alphabet The Phoenician alphabet is simply the Proto-Canaanite alphabet as it was continued into the Iron Age conventionally taken from a cut-off date of BC.
This alphabet gave rise to the Aramaic and Greek alphabets. These in turn led to the writing systems used throughout regions ranging from Western Asia to Africa and Europe.
For its part the Greek alphabet introduced for the first time explicit symbols for vowel sounds. The Brahmic family of India is believed by some scholars to have derived from the Aramaic alphabet as well.
Several varieties of the Greek alphabet developed. The other variation, known as Eastern Greekwas used in present-day Turkey and by the Athenians, and eventually the rest of the world that spoke Greek adopted this variation.
After first writing right to left, like the Phoenicians, the Greeks eventually chose to write from left to right. Greek is in turn the source for all the modern scripts of Europe. The most widespread descendant of Greek is the Latin scriptnamed for the Latinsa central Italian people who came to dominate Europe with the rise of Rome.
The Romans learned writing in about the 5th century BC from the Etruscan civilizationwho used one of a number of Italic scripts derived from the western Greeks. Due to the cultural dominance of the Roman state, the other Italic scripts have not survived in any great quantity, and the Etruscan language is mostly lost.
Latin, never one of the primary literary languages, rapidly declined in importance except within the Church of Rome.
The primary literary languages were Greek and Persianthough other languages such as Syriac and Coptic were important too. The rise of Islam in the 7th century led to the rapid rise of Arabic as a major literary language in the region.
Arabic script was adopted as the primary script of the Persian language and the Turkish language. This script also heavily influenced the development of the cursive scripts of Greek, the Slavic languagesLatinand other languages[ citation needed ].
The Arabic language also served to spread the Hindu—Arabic numeral system throughout Europe. Renaissance and the modern era[ edit ] By the 14th century a rebirth, or renaissancehad emerged in Western Europe, leading to a temporary revival of the importance of Greek, and a slow revival of Latin as a significant literary language.
A similar though smaller emergence occurred in Eastern Europe, especially in Russia. At the same time Arabic and Persian began a slow decline in importance as the Islamic Golden Age ended. The revival of literary development in Western Europe led to many innovations in the Latin alphabet and the diversification of the alphabet to codify the phonologies of the various languages.
The nature of writing has been constantly evolving, particularly due to the development of new technologies over the centuries. The penthe printing pressthe computer and the mobile phone are all technological developments which have altered what is written, and the medium through which the written word is produced.
Particularly with the advent of digital technologies, namely the computer and the mobile phone, characters can be formed by the press of a button, rather than making a physical motion with the hand.
The nature of the written word has recently evolved to include an informal, colloquial written style, in which an everyday conversation can occur through writing rather than speaking.The hieroglyphic scripts of the Ancient Near East (Egyptian, Sumerian proto-Cuneiform, and Cretan) seamlessly emerge from such symbol systems so that it is difficult to say at what exact time writing developed from proto-writing.
Further, very little is known about the symbols' meanings. The cuneiform script was developed from pictographic proto-writing in the late 4th millennium BC.
Mesopotamia's "proto-literate" period spans roughly the 35th to 32nd centuries. Mesopotamia's "proto-literate" period spans roughly the 35th to 32nd centuries. If it is deemed to be a written language, writing in China will predate Mesopotamian cuneiform, long acknowledged as the first appearance of writing, by some 2, years; however it is more likely that the inscriptions are rather a form of proto-writing, similar to the contemporary European Vinca script.
Oct 03, · Egyptian writing, cuneiform, Cretan, hieroglyphic Hittite, and that the proto-Sinaitic inscriptions (discovered since in the Sinai Peninsula) Dating from the 15th and 14th centuries bce, they were written in a cuneiform alphabet of 30 letters.
Elamite scripts. Proto-Elamite; Old Elamite; The Elamite Cuneiform script was used from about BC to AD and was adapted from Akkadian Cuneiform. The Elamite Cuneiform script consisted of about symbols, far fewer than most other cuneiform scripts. Undeciphered writing systems. Linear A, Indus/Harappa script, Phaistos .
Cuneiform: Cuneiform, system of writing used in the ancient Middle East. The name, a coinage from Latin and Middle French roots meaning ‘wedge-shaped,’ has been the modern designation from the early 18th century onward.
Learn more about cuneiform’s development and influence.