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Final project paper

Final project paper - Early Burial Procedures and the...

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Early Burial Procedures and the Development of Writing By Anthony Bervel
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Societies of today have been molded by the civilizations that came before them. Writing forms have gone through countless changes and refinements to get to the forms they are today. Burial beliefs and practices over history have been widely varied by each locality and society. Early developments of writing and burial procedures at archeological sites such as the Tomb of Shihuangdi, the Tombs of Giza, and Ur of Mesopotamia greatly influenced the civilizations that came after them. The first form of writing appeared on clay tablets in ancient Mesopotamia. “The principle function of this earliest Mesopotamian writing appears to have been economic; the clay tablets record lists of commodities and business transactions.”(Price, and Feinman, 2009) The written symbols included as many as 1500 different symbols, had consistent conventions for the presentation of information, and were primarily ideographs but also used a few pictographs for represented objects. Over time the writing was simplified and made more efficient. The Mesopotamian method of writing led to further advancements and refinements by later civilizations and was the forerunner for early Sumerian cuneiform. The early writing system concept in ancient Egypt came from the pictorial writing of the Sumerians and consisted of a large alphabet of hieroglyphs. But instead of refining the written form like most civilizations do, it was made increasingly more difficult to execute with over 700 symbols and no standard direction of writing. Only a relatively
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