I feel it is important to look at Sumerian Cuneiform Script in further detail, as it is relevant to the topics I have covered so far. Sumerian Cuneiforms were developed in Southern Mesopotamia, now known as Iraq. These symbols represent the first form of learned communication – language in a written form. Unlike the older Pictograms of the Rinconada Canyon, today we understand their exact functions, and have even been able to translate them.

Sumerian Cuneiforms were developed to make records of goods and services. They were stamped into wet clay using Mesopotamian Counting Tokens. The nature of the Pictogram, that it is carved or stamped onto a tablet, meant that the records were very durable and the clay tablets they were carved upon were fairly easy to travel with.

Originally, Counting Tokens were kept in clay containers and sealed. However, there came the problem of not being able to determine what was inside. To remedy this, they used the tokens as stamps to make an imprint on the outside of the container, thus enabling the owner to determine the value inside. Eventually, they simply used clay tablets with the different symbols stamped onto the surface.

ImageMesopotamian Counting Tokens