Language is celebrated as the medium for literature and poetry but its origins might surprise you. In this episode of Johan Norberg’s New and Improved, Norberg examines the latest research on where and why the first written languages developed.
Invented by the Sumerians, the first known form of writing is cuneiform, a series of wedge-shaped marks pressed into clay tablets. It has been found on thousands of small, clay tokens, and is believed to have served as an early accounting system for tracking goods.
From simple symbols for counting value, writing evolved into word and sound-based systems using a modern alphabet. It is fascinating to consider that the abstract tool of philosophers and poets has its roots in the elementary needs of business.