Inea B. West
May 25, 2015
Comparing Ancient and Classical Art
Long before the Latin and English alphabet, humans expressed non-verbal communication through symbols and pictograms. They expressed themselves on tokens, walls, papyrus, wood and clay tablets. Many people believe that the earliest traces of writing came from Ancient Egypt. However, the earliest known writing system is Sumerian cuneiform. The Egyptians may not have been the first to create non-verbal communication, however, they were innovative in the development of hieroglyphics. The Egyptians also had a talent for intricate artistic inscriptions that tells stories. The Narmer Palette is one of the earliest examples of these inscriptions. While both forms of written communication come from different cultures, periods and regions of the world, you will find many similarities between them.
Sumerian cuneiform was developed in the city of Uruk in Mesopotamia between 3500 – 3000 BCE. Derived from the Latin word Cuneus, which means wedge, due to the wedge-shaped style of writing (Mark, 2011). These wedge-shaped characters where made in horizontal rows. A tool called a stylus was used to press impressions into clay tablets. The clay tablets were then baked to harden. Initially, cuneiform started out as representational. For example, a pictogram of a horse would represent a horse. As time went, this system of writing was not efficient as it was only beneficial for conveying simple nouns. A more sophisticated system was