Student Resources: History & Social Studies

The Birth of Cuneiform Writing

Created September 3, 2010

The earliest writing systems evolved independently and at roughly the same time in Egypt and Mesopotamia, but current scholarship suggests that Mesopotamia’s writing appeared first. That writing system, invented by the Sumerians, emerged in Mesopotamia around 3500 BCE. This lesson plan is designed to help students appreciate the parallel development and increasing complexity of writing and civilization in Mesopotamia.