Segments in this Video

Communication Methods (02:11)


All civilizations have some method of communication. The invention of writing marked the end of prehistoric times.

Writing (04:07)

The Sumerians were the first to use writing 5,100 years ago. They carved into clay with reeds. Writing eventually spread to the Egyptians and other ancient civilizations.

The Alphabet (01:23)

Alphabets were a simpler method of writing than hieroglyphics or pictographs. The Phoenicians invented the first alphabet, which merged with the Greek alphabet over time.

The Printing Press (02:24)

In the Middle Ages, monks copied pre-existing texts by hand. The printing press was invented in 1445. Modern technology has made printing and sharing written communication easier.

Summary (02:19)

The first known method of writing appeared in Mesopotamia. The Rosetta stone helped decode ancient languages. The printing press spread the use of written communication.

Credits: How Was Writing Born? (00:47)

Credits: How Was Writing Born?

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

How Was Writing Born?

Part of the Series : Just the Facts History of Science Series
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



Writing is vital to the transmission of culture, enabling civilizations to pass down their legacies, traditions, and beliefs throughout history. Law, literature, and science have been preserved through the centuries by being written down. In this program, learn more about the origins of writing by exploring the writing systems of ancient civilizations including Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Sumer. We’ll also explore the origins of writing in China, the Phoenician alphabet, and the Arabic and Greek alphabets. Lastly, we will learn more about Johannes Gütenberg, the father of the printing-press, and his invention's evolution.

Length: 16 minutes

Item#: BVL155069

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.