HUMANPAST.NET

Language                  8,000 BC
Africa
Southwest Asia
Egypt
Indus Valley
China
Europe
South America
Mesoamerica
North America
Other

In General

 Although we have no direct evidence of the hypothesized world-language's content or structure, some scholars believe that single language first divided 10 to 15 thousand years ago. Linguists arrive at such dates from their calculations of the time it would have taken for languages to evolve to their current level of diversity. Selection by the experts of the 10 to 15 thousand-year time span for the initial language division straddles the well-documented, worldwide Cataclysm of 11,500 years ago. That leaves us with the question of whether divergences in a basic language occurred before the Cataclysm or after. (113)

Africa

 

Southwest Asia

Archaeologist Denise Schmandt-Besserat was the first person to appreciate the significance of a strange category of clay artefacts. These were tiny spheres, discs, cones, cylinders, tetrahedrons and assorted geometric shapes. She noted that these 'tokens', as she named them, were widespread throughout Israel, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria, and were some of the oldest clay objects to have been fired in order to make them more durable. She studied more than 10,000 tokens and was able to show that this Sumerian accounting system made use of a methodology that had been developing since about 8000 BC in the Near East. With the arrival of the Sumerians it had flowered into a written numerical system. The need to produce an ever-increasing number of token types eventually led to the development of a new system of handling data, which was to be the final step towards the emergence of the Sumerian script. Elamite developed into a type of logogram writing known as cuneiform. Because this earliest writing uses word symbols rather than an alphabet, it can be read only in vague terms. It does not reproduce speech but a series of word images. Because a single sign can be read in several different ways, according to the reader's subjective perceptions a line of text could have a number of diverse meanings depending on what images he or she perceived. (160)

 

Egypt

 

Indus Valley 

China

 

Europe

 

South America

 

Mesoamerica

 

North America

 

Other