Ancient Origins

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Twenty thousand years ago, humans created the first cultic cave paintings, images

with which they retained and transported information (Horn, 1998). Images thus

existed long before the recording of languages. Between fifteen hundred and three

thousand years ago, spoken languages, which often were rich in imagery, were

gradually recorded in scripts. Particularly in Egypt and China, ideographic scripts

originated with integrated word and picture elements (Horn, 1998).

The ancient world was the birthplace of the spoken language.Until about five hundred

years ago in Europe, most written documents (books and scrolls) were skillfully

scribed and illustrated by specialists.With the invention of the letterpress, pictures

were pushed further into the background as a general means of communication. They

retained their significance in the cultural areas of art and religion and gained importance

in special fields such as the mapping of discoveries on land and sea maps.