The earliest content writers wrote on clay

Posted on May 20, 2010


Writing is nothing new, with the earliest known examples of written language dating from around 3000 BC. it is thought to have been invented by people known as the Sumerians, living in what is now Iraq. Early writing was mainly used to keep agricultural records concerning animals and cereal crops, and the words were inscribed into a flattened piece of damp clay. Instead of attempting to draw pictures of animals and crops, it was realised that creating symbols to represent them was a much quicker way of communicating, and in this way a series of standard signs that could be understood by all was invented.

One advantage of being able to express language in written form was that it was no longer necessary to rely on memory in order to work out, for example, how many sheep had left or entered a farm, or how much grain should be in a store. Early writing is described as cuneiform, meaning wedge-shaped, because the instrument used to inscribe the clay was typically a wedge-shaped cut reed. In time, cuneiform signs could be used to represent the sounds of language and people were able to express ideas through them.

As the Internet depends on the written word, it would not exist, or would exist in a form we can not imagine, without the existence of writing. SEO copywriters are following in a very long tradition when they upload their words to web pages, not so very far removed from the scribes with their damp clay tablets long ago.


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