The earliest writing then relies on your definition of 'writing', but is probably the lists mentioned, in clay or rope markings.
What may be even more interesting though, is how writing influences and is influenced by civilisation. As noted, the commencing of commerce seems to instigate mark making, but what effect would the decline of commerce/religion/governance have on a cultures use of mark making?
sorry for rambling, just thinking out loud really.
are there ancient analogies to the christian attempt to monopolise writing in the dark ages? And what about similar renaissance and enlightenment periods of ancient cultures? In our earliest histories of writing, has there been periods where a type of writing has almost dissapeared? Do periods of decline in the use of a writing correlate with the massive transformations in that writing and a resurgence in ( or repurposing of) usage or transformation in the technology employed to record it?
Edited by Considered_Ignorance, 16 November 2013 - 02:13 AM.