4.1 Early Writing
MS in Old Sumerian on clay, Sumer, Uruk IV, 32nd c. BC, 1 tablet, 5,0x5,7x2,1 cm, 17+14 compartments of pictographic script
While continuous writing conveying a message started in Syria, Sumer or Highland Iran ca. 3500 BC, single symbols, glyphs, marks representing names, places, tracks, gods, etc. are much older. Apart from Australia, where it possibly all started, the four earliest major river valley civilisations, represent the earliest symbols and writing from 4th millennium BC onwards, as mentioned in the introduction.
Some examples of each of these are listed, supplied with the earliest examples from Europe and the Americas.