The Origin of Languages and Scripts

Ancient Origins Iraq tour

Saturday May 23, 2020 2:00pm EST
Dr. Fanie Vermaak
The Origin of Languages and Scripts

Why don’t we still use Egyptian hieroglyphs? What happened to Mesopotamian cuneiform?

Writing originated more or less at the same time and in the same manner by approximately the middle of the fourth millennium BC all along the great rivers of the world, with the Chinese script along the Wuang-Ho River, the Indian script along the Indus River, the Egyptian hieroglyphs along the Nile, and the Mesopotamian cuneiform signs along the Tigris and the Euphrates.

However, the alphabetical letters, as we use them today, have an extended history that dates back to the latter part of the second millennium BC. They most probably developed in the eastern part of the Mediterranean (present Syria and Lebanon). The more complicated writing systems in the Ancient Near East, such as the Egyptian hieroglyphs and the Mesopotamian cuneiform, could no longer effectively serve the trade processes and required a simpler alphabetical system to improve the communication system for everyday use in this geographical gateway area.

Special guest Dr. Fanie Vermaak returns to Ancient Origins Premium to present on the history and fates of ancient languages and scripts.

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