The book before printing ancient medieval and oriental
History of books - WikipediaIT is significant that man's intellectual progress and, particularly, the recording of his achievements—history in fact—are very late developments in his story as a whole. The modern anthropologist regards the human race as having had probably a million years' existence on this earth. Of this million years, only a small fraction —the last five thousand years or so—are recorded in any contemporary form. Indeed, the earliest known books or their equivalents are the inscribed clay tablets of Mesopotamia and the papyrus rolls of ancient Egypt, both of which, in their primitive origins, are reputed to date at least from the early third millennium B. If one goes further back, however, one might by a stretch of imagination regard as very nebulous beginnings of the book the Old Stone Age cave paintings—such as we find at Altamira or Lascaux—and other prehistoric or more recent picture-writings, as well as the oral tradition, aided by gesture and song, of prehistoric or other primitive peoples.
History of books
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The history of books starts with the development of writing , and various other inventions such as paper and printing , and continues through to the modern day business of book printing. The earliest history of books actually predates what would conventionally be called "books" today and begins with tablets, scrolls, and sheets of papyrus. Then hand-bound, expensive, and elaborate books known as codices appeared.
For sheer weight of information there is no equal to it. It is probable that the earliest "books" were written on wood or leaves as early as the fourth millennium B. These fragile materials, unfortunately, have not come down to us. In their absence, the earliest surviving books are the clay tablets of Mesopotamia, the oldest attributed to c. On these ancient clay shards, dense rows of cuneiform script record the seminal writings of mankind: the Gilgamesh epic, Sumerian literary catalogues, Babylonian astrology, Assyrian accounts of the Creation and the Flood, and the Lipit-Ishtar Law-Code c. Probably as ancient as the Mesopotamian writings, or nearly so, are Egyptian hieroglyphics. In a sense, it is the papyrus scrolls of the Egyptians — preserved by that country's hot, dry climate — that represent the true ancestors of the modern book.