Bronze Age Writing Systems
It is believed that the art of writing began in the Bronze Age. Prior to that, people used to communicate just by singular letters and marks or symbols. But full fledged writing was invented during the Bronze Age when people probably began to understand the limitations of the pre-existing systems. The importance and the functionality of writing lies in the fact that communication and expression can reach out to more people.
Oral way of communication takes much longer time to travel the boundaries of geography and reach out to the mass. Also, the previous ways of just writing independent symbols or marking did not help in expressing lucid flow of ideas. Also oral communications do not save any record which can be referred in the future. Thus writing was introduced.
The primary forms of writing systems in the Bronze Age involved hieroglyphs of Egypt, cuneiform writing of Sumerians, the Mesopotamian Olmec script and the logographs introduced by the Chinese. The Sumerians’ cuneiform system involved clay tokens which functioned as commodities. Later on, they were used to keep accounts using a kind of round stylus for the purpose of recording numbers. Further on, these round stylus changed into wedge shaped one (thus giving the name cuneiform), initially for logograms but later on also for phonetic elements.
The development of Egypt's hieroglyphs arose from the necessity to maintain their empire. As the literacy among the then people was very concentrated, the need to train some people as scribe led to the development of the hieroglyph system. This system was purposefully kept difficult to keep the knowledge limited to the scribes. For the need to make the people literate, the Olmec civilization introduced the Cascajal Block to develop their writing system.
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