Writing, Text, and the Law

Authored by: Peter Tiersma

Handbook of Research on Writing

Print publication date:  July  2007
Online publication date:  March  2009

Print ISBN: 9780805848694
eBook ISBN: 9781410616470
Adobe ISBN: 9781135251116

10.4324/9781410616470.ch8

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Abstract

It is generally agreed that cuneiform, the earliest known writing system, emerged in present-day Iraq around 5,000 years ago (see chap. 1, this volume). Cuneiform texts include a substantial number of legal documents. Indeed, the oldest legal texts known to exist were made in Mesopotamia in the early third millennium BCE and involved the sale of land (Ellickson & Thorland, 1995).

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