The invention of writing and in particular of alphabetic writing拼音文字 marked a milestone in cultural development. It provided humanity人类 with a new means of communication that literally确切地 inscribed雕刻 in stone the spoken word. Communication could now span跨越 both space and time. Space, because writing could be sent from one place to another. Time, because writing could preserve the words for generations to comePSince the art of writing was discovered, nearly every form of writing material has been used. Some were intended to ensure permanence 永久while others were simple and inexpensive but temporary暂时的. From the wax notepad记事本 of the schoolboy to the grand重要的 inscriptions 碑铭 on monuments纪念碑, almost everything we know about antiquity古代 is derived from源自于 writings such as those written on animal hide/s兽皮and minerals.
LStone was mainly used for writing on permanent monuments and public buildings. The writing on stone usually requires the use of hammer锤子 and chisel凿子. The most comfortable, accurate and hence productive多产的 manner 方式 of carving雕刻stone inscriptions题字 is to hold the chisel in one hand and hit it with the hammer held in the other hand. Although this sounds like too simple an explanation, one must consider that as most people are right handed then there would be a tendency倾向 to cut the letters from right to left. Therefore, we find that the flow of ancient Semitic闪族人 languages such as Hebrew希伯来人 and Arabic阿拉伯的 run from right to left. Stone is one of the oldest forms of writing material.
Sheets of metal金属片 were rarely used for writing or are rarely found. For one, they were expensive to manufacture制造 and secondly, the metal was often re-smelted 冶炼 for use as weapons in times of war, so few sheets remain. Royal houses sometimes used silver or gold and examples of writing on gold has been excavated挖掘 from the Second Temple 神殿period in Jerusalem耶路撒冷/以色列的首都. More commonly, bronze青铜 tablets牌匾and copper sheets铜片 were used to provide semi-permanence永久 and could be stored more easily than cumbersome 讨厌的/笨重的rock. Archaeologists have discovered row upon row of bronze tablets from ancient Roman archives档案/公文 that contain details about treaties条约/谈判 and decrees法令.
As written forms of language slowly developed the materials upon which the text was applied also changed to become more user friendly. Early writing materials consisted of stone, metal sheets, wooden boards木板, wax tablets and ostraca陶片. All of these materials are rigid刚硬的 and rather primitive原始的 in kind. As the need for better communication and recording occurred so too developed better forms of writing materials.
Clay tablets are probably the invention of the Sumerians苏美尔人 of southern Babylonia. The use of soft clay tablets was popular right up until the Christian Era基督纪元. Use of clay tablets became widespread 分布广泛的/普遍的and was the general means of written communication throughout Mesopotamia美索不达米亚/现伊拉克境内 and the entire ancient East.
The system of use involved two parts:… was fashioned as a 'letter' and formed the inner core of the communication. Shrouding覆盖 the inner tablet was a folded clay 'envelope' that completely enclosed 装入/围绕 the inner tablet. The message to be sent was first written on the smaller, inner tablet, while the clay was soft using a thin, sharpened tool to inscribe记下 wedge-shaped楔形的 cuneiform letters楔形文字that comprised组成 the text. This tablet was then fired to harden it and make the message permanent.
It was then wrapped包装 in a thin sheet of clay that was folded around the main message like a modern envelope信封. This was inscribed with the name of the recipient接受者, the contents of the inner tablet and the name (and possibly the seal封印) of the author.tablets have been excavated by the thousand, from archaeological sites all over the East. There are at least one million tablets held and displayed in various museums throughout the world.|WThe envelope system provided privacy隐私 to the writer and if the seal had not been broken, the recipient 接受者would know that no one had read his mail邮件.