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The earliest cities known today arose in Mesopotamia, an area that is part of what is sometimes called the Fertile Crescent.
Once the writing system had moved from being pictographic to phonetic writing could communicate abstractions more effectively: names, words, and ideas.The earliest known writing originated with the Sumerians about 5500 years ago.Writing was not invented for telling stories of the great conquests of kings or for important legal documents. In the next stage of development, pictographs (simple pictures of an object) were drawn into wet clay, and these images replaced the tokens.Share with the students the British Museum’s introduction to Mesopotamia: Geography, available through the EDSITEment-reviewed resource The Oriental Institute: The University of Chicago.
Then use the Geography: Explore feature to investigate a variety of maps of the region by choosing them from the pull down menu.
At first, this writing was representational: a bull might be represented by a picture of a bull, and a pictograph of barley signified the word barley.