The earliest examples of writing have been found in Mesopotamia and date to shortly before 3000 B.C.E. A. Writing was invented in the same areas in which civilization began by the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia, Asia Minor and the Mediterranean. B. The development of cuneiform is known because it was written on a long-lasting material and because it was long and widely used throughout the ancient Near East. C. Cuneiform tablets generally dealt with business and factual matters, but other topics, including literature, were also recorded and valued. D. Writing was developed first by the Sumerians using wedge-shaped marks (cuneiform) on clay tablets and then by the Egyptians using papyrus paper. E. Scribes using cuneiform in Assyria, Babylon, Syria and Asia Minor had to learn all the languages that used the cuneiform script. F. Batches of clay tablets, sometimes with as many as a thousand tablets each, are often found by archaeologists.