Basic pottery, by way of pit firing, is thought to have developed some 30,000 years ago. So in the first instance, it is not surprising for Andrea and Daniel to find pottery at the site. But Andrea observation that the shard she uncovered bears written language takes the artifact far outside the norms of established archaeological finds.

The first known form of written language is cuneiform. But no system of written language come into existence overnight, and before any formal system of written language were what is referred to as proto-writing, which is believed to have emerged as early as the 7th millennium BC—about 9,000 years ago. World population was considered to be about 5 million people. Agriculture was just beginning.


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