Humans have been calling each other by names probably for hundreds of thousands of years ever since the first human beings evolved from Homo heidelbergensis and emigrated out of Africa. We don’t know what these early names sounded like because there was no method to record sounds. Writing would not be invented until very late in human history—about 5,500 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia. The Sumerians were the first to develop a script to record information. Known as cuneiform, it used a combination of pictorials and symbols to record facts and figures, such as business transactions.
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