It is interesting to me that many civilizations from the past did not have written language. There were a couple notable exceptions. In Western Asia, beginning approximately 3250 BC Cuneiform, Sumerian, Elamite and the Egyptians had their own written language. Cuneiform and Sumerian stayed into existence until approximately 50AD, and the Elamite written language ended around 500BC. Egyptians have changed forms several times, however they are the only really ancient language to have survived.
It took about 1500 years before Quipu became a written language and then died out almost 1000 years ago. Japanese is also an ancient language, undergoing several changes beginning in the 1500’s BC and now existing in three forms, all spoken together at once.
Most European written languages started about 500 BC, and most African written languages began approximately 100BC to 100AD. Most of the other cultures in existence today had written language around the time of Christ to 50AD. The exceptions and new on the block are the Cherokee, Cree and Inuktitut whose written language started close to 2000AD.
This history is important if you are a female journalist. This is important especially if you were born with a vivid imagination, and you wrote yourself into other time periods in your mind. Then you may, like me, have wondered why you weren’t born in a different era. At first glance, you see there are several times that writing was used in history. The kicker is that most writers were men. Scribes, priests and the ruling nobility were the people who wrote the histories and documents. The common man couldn’t read and write, and women were strictly forbidden.
Taking that into consideration, I am glad I was born in this era, where women are free to write at will. There are so many good writers, both men and women, it’s grand to be a part of the new culture of writers who report, journal and document our world today.
Written by: Kathleen Johnson