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Ch.1_4_Notes

Ch.1_4_Notes - GRA 111 History of Graphic Design I CH 1 The...

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GRA 111 • History of Graphic Design I CH 1: The Invention of Writing Introduction Early humans evolution: homo sapiens stand erect hands could then be used to carry objects tools weapons food Writing Tools Prehistoric visual communication Early humans earliest evidence found in Africa more than 200,000 years old from Paleolithic to Neolithic periods (35,000-4,000 BC) Cave Paintings in Africa and parts of Europe Lascaux, in southern France charcoal = black pigments = animal fats and iron oxides These early examples were not fine art, but visual communication made for survival utilitarian ritualistic possibly teaching aids 1
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abstract geometric signs, too purpose is unclear possibly “proto-writing” Pictographs elementary pictures or sketches to represent the things depicted Petroglyphs signs and/or simple figures scratched into rocks Africa North America New Zealand mostly pictographs some may be ideographs symbols used to represent ideas or concepts Evolution of pictographs beginning of pictorial art fidelity increased over time evolved (eventually) into writing became symbols for spoken-language sounds increasing simplification/abstraction soon came to resemble letters of early alphabet Cradle of civilization Precise origins unknown—recent evidence points to Thailand Mesopotamia is generally acknowledged as the “cradle of civilization” located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers now parts of Iraq, Syria, and Turkey settled by early humans around 8,000 BC wild animals domesticated agriculture began Sumerians 2
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settled in Fertile Crescent—3,000 BC greatest contribution: writing this area was conquered repeatedly (great value in the land) as a result, the area’s culture ( including writing ) was spread far and wide Earliest writing religion dominated life in Mesopotamia (recurring theme: religion and writing ) Ziggurats (stepped pyramids) used as temples priests and scribes were powerful “temple economy” required record keeping—which in turn required a system of writing taxes harvests etc. one theory: small clay tags were used to identify the contents of cloth sacks and pottery containers early examples of writing city of Uruk pictographs on clay tablets list commodities and personal names evolution of writing systems speed and clarity were driving forces a sharpened stylus was replaced with a triangle-tipped stylus pushed into clay, rather than dragged through it, resulting in wedge shaped strokes, called cuneiform Ideographs became more common images of the sun, for example, came to be used to represent “day” or “light” lots of things can’t be represented with ideographs (e.g., personal names, adverbs, etc.) ideographs evolved to represent sounds , rather than ideas Phonograms
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