The written word is a form of communication that helps societies to record the knowledge that they have obtained and discovered. It is also a vehicle for sharing this knowledge amongst others. Writing enables people to communicate ideas and thoughts, to share creatively and to be understood. Whilst all cultures on Earth do not write in the same way, all have developed a form of written communication know as writing.
It is difficult to know when writing was invented as many cultures developed way to make records of crops, people and other items. The Sumerian people of Mesopotamia are thought to have created the first writing. They used a reed to press symbols into soft clay which was then allowed to dry. This was called cuneiform and the earliest known examples date back to 4000BC. Cuneiform was a type of writing that used pictures to represent whole words rather than symbols that correspond to a particularly sound. The Egyptians quickly followed developing their own hieroglyphics around 3100 BC. They then developed the world’s first alphabet using hieroglyphics in 2000BC. The Greeks are credited for developing the first alphabetic writing similar to modern day writing in around 100BC. In this system symbols represented sounds rather than whole words. Most written symbols were used for accounting purposes and it was not until alphabetic systems where developed that they were used to record ideas and history.