March 18, 2015
The technology of writing is one of the most momentous inventions in the human history. With writing comes literacy and the raise of modern sciences. Compared to orality, writing is a very recent development in the human history. According to Walter Ong (author of Orality and Literacy), Homo Sapiens have been around between 50 or 60.000 years ago and the first script was invented only 6000 years ago. Of course, people have been carving shapes on stones, creating notches on sticks and making markings on rocks for many millennia but these are only semiotic markings that can not be considered writing(always according to Ong and several other literacy scholars including Havelock, Scribble and many others). Writing in the sense of script or coded system was invented by Semitic people around 6000 years ago. As a script, writing includes several systems most important of which is alphabets.
That was a very succinct snapshot of the very beginnings of what is now known as literacy, for those of you interested in learning more about the history of literacy and how it developed throughout the years, we would highly recommend Ong’s classic book “Orality and Literacy”. In similar vein, we also have for you this beautiful visual timeline that chronicles the major epochs that marked the history of education. Check it out below. This visual is created by Boundless.
Courtesy of eLearning Infographics