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Cuneiform
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Cuneiform

Cuneiform is a system of writing first developed by the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia c. 3500-3000 BCE. It is considered the most significant among the many cultural contributions of the Sumerians and the greatest among those of the Sumerian...
Runes
Definitionby Emma Groeneveld

Runes

Runes are letters in the runic alphabets of Germanic-speaking peoples, written and read most prominently from at least c. 160 CE onwards in Scandinavia in the Elder Futhark script (until c. 700 CE) and the Younger Futhark - which illuminated...
Egyptian Hieroglyphs
Definitionby Priscila Scoville

Egyptian Hieroglyphs

The Egyptian hieroglyphic script was one of the writing systems used by ancient Egyptians to represent their language. Because of their pictorial elegance, Herodotus and other important Greeks believed that Egyptian hieroglyphs were something...
Bai Juyi
Definitionby Emily Mark

Bai Juyi

Bai Juyi (l. 772-846 CE) was one of the greatest poets of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) along with Li Po (l. 701-762 CE) and Du Fu (l. 712-770 CE). He was a government official who got in trouble with authorities a number of times for not...
Pronouncing pictures! - History of Writing Systems #4 (Rebus writing)
Videoby NativLang

Pronouncing pictures! - History of Writing Systems #4 (Rebus writing)

Watch ancient Sumerians figure out how to use pictures to write sounds for the first time in history. See why the Egyptians disagree with their approach. Meaning writing (logographs) let early writers get civilized and document their thoughts...
What if writing didn't exist? - History of Writing Systems #1
Videoby NativLang

What if writing didn't exist? - History of Writing Systems #1

Writing... awesome technology or unnatural intrusion? Why did humans start writing? What would our world be like without writing? Here begins the tale of Thoth and Thamus, two legendary Egyptians arguing over the value of writing. Will...
Chinese is NOT picture writing! - History of Writing Systems #5 (Determinatives)
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Chinese is NOT picture writing! - History of Writing Systems #5 (Determinatives)

Watch this ancient Chinese scribe figure out how to use a fixed set of characters to write limitless words in his language. How? By combining meaning writing (logographs) and sound writing (rebus)! The result is a set of helpful hints...
Cuneiform Lexical Lists
Articleby William Brown

Cuneiform Lexical Lists

Lexical lists are compilations of cuneiform signs and word readings written on clay tablets throughout Mesopotamia. From the late 4th millennium BCE up to the 1st century CE, scribal communities copied, modified, and passed on these cuneiform...
How writing got civilized - History of Writing Systems #3 (Logographs)
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How writing got civilized - History of Writing Systems #3 (Logographs)

Watch prehistoric pictures turn into written words as ancient civilizations around the world learn to write for the very first time! You took Thoth's Pill. Now your journey continues. Leave the cave days behind and take a leap into history...
Letters & Post in the Ancient World
Articleby Mark Cartwright

Letters & Post in the Ancient World

Letters and their delivery via a state communication system was a feature of many ancient cultures. The writing medium may have differed but the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Incas all had the means to send messengers and...