Sumer writing and record keeping

This theme is central to most religions though we do not have a record as to where it began or which religion gave the first account of it.

Talley sticks with notches on them to represent a number of sheep or to record a debt have been used in the past.

writing cuneiform

The majority of the population would not have been able to read or write cuneiform, including a majority of Mesopotamian kings.

The Sumerians were the first civilization to have a history and they used pictographs to record it. If writing did not exist it would be difficult or impossible to run or control any political entity larger than a chiefdom.

As far as archeologists can tell, the Sumerian language is not related to any other language on Earth. Sharp reeds were used to place impressions into wet mud.

Activities Take a ten question quiz about this page. It was also impossible to ask a question relating to the items shown. Finally they introduced vowels into their alphabet.

sumerian counting tokens

Literature While most of the tablets discovered have been government and financial records, some of the writings are literature.

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Record Keeping and the Origins of Writing in Mesopotamia