When did people start writing in the Levant?

The world’s first expression of proto-writing has been identified in the Nahal Mishmar hoard, a collection of about 400 copper artifacts produced in Canaan 6,000 years ago. This earliest proto-writing is tridimensional: the entire artifact is involved in the coding. This invention was not intended to record orders or shipping certificates but to understand phenomena through the net of relationships inherent in the language.

By Nissim Amzallag
Department of Bible,
Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheba, Israel
December 2019

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