Language 7,000 BC
An equally profound consequence of these cultural developments is found in recent work that suggests that Anatolia, around 9 kya, is the cradle of Indo-European languages. ...this analysis does raise intriguing questions about whether the culture that emerged at Catalhoyuk defined our linguistic heritage. (145)
The research of archaeologist Denise Schmandt-Besserat has revealed the most likely scenario for how the use of recorded symbols evolved in Mesopotamia, proposing what is essentially a five-step process. The first step involved the use of so-called clay tokens that, beginning more than 9,000 years ago, litter sites in the Middle East . The tokens initially were made in 16 basic shapes, mostly geometric forms like cones, disks, spheres, and cylinders but also stylized animals and some that resemble pottery storage jars. (170)
...twenty-five miles off the coast of Gujurat, India. The discovery took place in that part of the Arabian Sea known as the Gulf of Cambay. India's National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) turned up some amazing sonar images from the gulf's depths while scanning for pollution levels. Using equipment that penetrates the sea floor, marine experts discovered a pattern of distinct, man-made formations across a five-mile stretch of seabed.
According to reports published worldwide, NIOT's sonar-imaging technology detected what appeared to be the stone pillars and collapsed walls of at least two cities. The site was described as part of an ancient river valley civilization not unlike the River Saraswati of the Rig Veda, thought to be mythical but--according to recent independent findings by Indian scientists--has been proved to have flowed to Gujurat. Divers at the Gulf of Cambay site later retrieved from depths of 120 feet two thousand man-made artifacts, including pottery, jewelry, sculpture, human bones, and evidence of writing, according to The Times of London.
…in January 2002, carbon dating revealed that an artifact from the site was astonishingly ancient, between 8,500 and 9,500 years old (the oldest known civilization in the world by thousands of years. This was a time when, according to orthodox archeological standards, India should have been peopled with primitive hunter-gatherers and a few settlements, not the inhabitants of a lost civilization. (56)
The most widely known of these earlier systems currently in use is the ideograph system used for the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages. A few Chinese characters have been found that analyst now date to about 6600 BC, but officially accepted evidence of formal use does not appear in the record until after 4000 BC. In either case, they are older than the alphabet. (113)