The Phoenicians developed the first alphabet, which is an ancestor to other modern languages like Greek, Latin, Arabic and Hebrew. With this new language system creation, many groups used it to have a uniform way of communicating ideas and information. Ancient Romans craved lettered information onto rocks, creating the first newspaper. The first sheet used for mobile documentation was the papyrus created by the ancient Egyptians and written with reed pens.
However, communication was moved forward dramatically with the invention of the modern paper by Cai Lun in 105 AD. It became the most popular written medium in China at the time and helped to develop the country and spread literacy. Within a hundred years, paper making made its way to other parts of Asia like Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. The ink brush was and still is used for calligraphy in East Asia. After the Chinese defeat in the Battle of Talas in 751 AD, many Chinese paper makers were captured by Arabs and the paper art form was brought to the Middle East. Eventually, paper would spread throughout the West and dramatically changed how communication spread throughout the world.
As writing mediums evolved, so did writing instruments. Reed pens would eventually be replaced by quill, dip and fountain pens, which were used for many famous documents, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the United States Constitution.
Next month: we will continue to look at the advancements in the written word as well as the printing press.