Tekniska Museet
100 Innovations - Tekniska museet

An exhibition at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm, 2012 – 2018

The written language

The written language

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The written language

One of Gurli Linder’s many love letters to Swedish polar explorer S.A. Andrée, that she wrote 1894-1896. TM23401. Photo: Ellinor Algin.

The written language

Fluorescent letters that had belonged to Urania institute, Sweden’s first Science center. TM30350. Photo: Ellinor Algin.

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The written language

How much written language would change mankind is hardly possible to imagine. It has affected thinking and created literature, science and history.

The first known written language, cuneiform, arose in Mesopotamia 5,000 years ago. To begin with, it was mainly used for accounting in trade and agriculture. The oldest written language was a kind of picture language, which used symbols instead of letters.

Written language became simpler when the alphabet was invented. With it we use a letter for a sound and we no longer have to have a symbol for every word. The alphabet writing system was invented in Palestine in around 1600 BC. In our millennium the symbol has found its way back into written language again ;-).

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