The use of clay pebbles, and hollow clay balls with the pebbles enclosed within, as an accounting device, has been recognized. Textual support for the existence of such an accounting system is also brought to light recently. It is contended by D. Schmandt-Besserat that this system in which the clay figures prominently was the precursor of writing. It is also contended that this system was spread over a vast area from Turkey, Syria to Southern Persia, from IXth mill. B.C. to IVth mill. B.C. when it culminated in a form of writing at Susa, and Uruk. Archaeological evidence at the sites does not support the above hypothesis as the context and the repertoire of artifacts found at the sites of the earlier date differs from that of the later ones (Susa) completely and is not comparable at all. And therefore it is possible that the geometric objects of the earlier sites were used for some purpose which we have not yet been able to determine. The invention of writing it appears, cannot be traced back to the use of clay balls marked with the clay pebbles but probably to the use of seals and the notches representing numbers. It has nothing to do with the use of clay. The important idea was the formation of association between sound and representable or reproduceable form, and this begining was made when the first numbers were notched on the clay-tablets. The methodology used by Schmandt-Besserat leaves much to be desired.
Silva, J. J. (2017). ¿Es necesario que todo artículo que vaya a ser publicado en una revista científica cuente con la aprobación de un comité de ética científico? Revista Chilena de Cirugia, 69(3), 191. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rchic.2017.02.007