Students can scan through the two summaries of key events in Mesopotamian history that are available on the EDSITEment web resource Metropolitan Museum of Art: Key Events BCE These timelines of key events can be used by students to determine where each label should be placed and to indicate when certain innovations became important.
Hieroglyphics was invented in Ancient Egypt about the same time as cuneiform in Mesopotamia, but scientists believe that cuneiform came first. The first writing recorded agricultural transactions. The scholar Ira Spar writes: This new way of interpreting signs is called the rebus principle.
For example, a drawing of a person's head, meant the word "head". The primary literary languages were Greek and Persianthough other languages such as Syriac and Coptic were important too.
Listen to a recorded reading of this page: Your browser does not support the audio element. How did the uses of writing expand over time?
Students have probably already studied in their classes about the shift of human societies from the nomadic pursuit of game and wild vegetation, to settled cultivation, and eventually towards settled villages, towns, and cities.
The dynastic bird also shares the same position. Latin, never one of the primary literary languages, rapidly declined in importance except within the Church of Rome.