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The Origins of Writing

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | Songbook

Derek Flynn

A fascinating article from Literary Hub that suggests the origins of writing may come from the need for keeping lists:

“A brief sketch of the origin of writing goes like this: in the beginning there was the Thing, and the Thing needed counting … The women and men who dwelt in [the] cities wanted to keep track of their new wealth and decided to use clay tokens for the job.

To better organize them, they began making clay containers known as bullae to enclose them into groups … This technology had its advantages and disadvantages … you’d be happy that your clay spheres couldn’t be tampered with, but annoyed that you couldn’t check their contents without breaking them. So, one day, while making your latest bulla, before you put the tokens inside, you press them firmly on to the clay’s wet exterior as a reminder of the contents.”

Voila, writing is born!

Full article here: What If… Listicles Are Actually an Ancient Form of Writing and Narrative?

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