Museum of the Origins of Man
ENGRAVING, PAINTING, SCULPTURE FROM THE PRE-WRITING TO THE WRITING IN THE POST-PALEOLITHIC
Fig. Fig. 33A5) Rupestrian graffito with remarkable variety of subjects.
Dating: perhaps Bronze Age.
Origin: Beson Nos, Northern Russia.
NOTE: it is likely that this fragment of rock with graffiti was detached by some collector from the cliff, and so removed from the original worship place.
All the scenes depicted follow a necessity of narration and announce the invention of writing.
Fig. F55) Pictographic inscription at the origin of writing.
Made on a limestone tablet on both sides.
Origin: Kish, Mesopotamia (Iraq).
Dating: about 5500 years ago.
On the tablet are engraved marks for head, hand and feet, for hammer, for threshing and for numerals.
It is evident that writing was born in the tradition of two-dimensional art.
Fig F56) Ancient Chinese writing (ideograms) painted on oracular bones.
The use of oracular or divinatory bones was widespread in the Lung Shan Neolithic, which began about 6000 years ago. Its origin should go back to the Paleolithic: then engravings and geometric paintings were made on animal bones.
In Neolithic, bones were smooth, and in the epoch of Shang Dynasty, about 3500 years ago (see photo above), oracular bones have the inscription with the question and the answer of the oracle. They were used shoulder blades of oxen, pigs and sheep and sometimes turtle shells.
The questions ranged from weather conditions for farmers, to requests for advice on military campaigns.
Fig. F57) Hieroglyphic inscription engraved on basalt.
Dating: late Hittite civilization, 1200-700 BC.
Origin: Kargamis (Turkey).
Location: Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara, Turkey.
Writing is an extracorporeal equipment of memory.
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