The Earliest Forms of Writing

Timeline created by doraki
  • 3,500 BCE

    Kish tablet

    Kish tablet
    The Kish tablet is a limestone tablet found at Tell al-Uhaymir, Iraq – the site of the ancient Sumerian city of Kish. The Kish tablet is inscribed with proto-cuneiform signs. It is considered the world's oldest known written document. The writing is purely pictographic.
  • 3,200 BCE

    Cuneiform writing

    Cuneiform writing
    Cuneiform is a logo-syllabic script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the Common Era. It is named for the characteristic wedge-shaped impressions which form its signs. Cuneiform originally developed to write the Sumerian language of southern Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). Along with Egyptian hieroglyphs, it is one of the earliest writing systems.
  • 3,100 BCE

    Egyptian hieroglyphs

    Egyptian hieroglyphs
    Egyptian hieroglyphs were the formal writing system used in Ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphs combined logographic, syllabic and alphabetic elements, with a total of some 1,000 distinct characters.Cursive hieroglyphs were used for religious literature on papyrus and wood. The later hieratic and demotic Egyptian scripts were derived from hieroglyphic writing, as was the Proto-Sinaitic script that later evolved into the Phoenician alphabet
  • 1,800 BCE

    Linear A

    Linear A
    Linear A is a writing system that was used by the Minoans (Cretans) from 1800 to 1450 BC to write the hypothesized Minoan language. Linear A was the primary script used in palace and religious writings of the Minoan civilization. It was discovered by archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans.No texts in Linear A have been deciphered. The term linear refers to the fact that the script was written by using a stylus to cut lines into a tablet of clay.
  • 1,450 BCE

    Linear B

    Linear B
    Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, the earliest form of Greek. Linear B, found mainly in the palace archives at Knossos and Mycenae, disappeared with the fall of Mycenaean civilization.It was deciphered by English architect and linguist Michael Ventris. Linear B consists of around 87 syllabic signs and over 100 ideographic signs. These ideograms symbolize objects or commodities. It was confined to administrative contexts.
  • 1,050 BCE

    Phoenician Alphabet

    Phoenician Alphabet
    The Phoenician alphabet is an alphabet known in modern times from the Canaanite and Aramaic inscriptions found across the Mediterranean region. It is also called the Early Linear script because it is an early development of the pictographic Proto- or Old Canaanite script, into a linear, alphabetic script, also marking the transfer from a multi-directional writing system, where a variety of writing directions occurred, to a regulated horizontal, right-to-left script.