March 17, 2004

Early Writing Gets Earlier

Another article in yesterday's New York Times, about human sacrifice in ancient Egypt, has an intriguing comment on Egyptian writing:

"In recent years...German archaeologists have...found, among other things, evidence of early forms of hieroglyphs from about 3200 B.C. If that date is correct, this would seem to show an earlier Egyptian writing than anything previously known, putting its origins at about the same time as that of the Mesopotamian cuneiform."

3200 B.C.! As early as the earliest Sumerian writing! And, if true, this is another piece of evidence supporting the claim that the Egyptians invented their writing system on their own, not via stimulus diffusion from the Sumerians.

Posted by Sally Thomason at March 17, 2004 08:54 AM