They were poor, illiterate Canaanite migrants who came to work 1850 BCE in Egypt. And they invented modern writing, which, from adaptation to adaptation, has been transmitted to all the peoples of the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East. This decisive invention unites men “across space and time”, explains the first part of this three-part documentary on the history of writing. The film tells a veritable saga, the beginnings of which date back to 4300 BC, on a burial site near Cairo. Basically, men therefore drew, to communicate. Then they represented objects which imaged sounds, or rebuses. The film is at the same time a sacred lesson in history, at the same time as a call for tolerance, on what unites men.
The Odyssey of Writing, on Arte, Saturday, November 21, at 8:50 p.m. Available at Arte.tv until January 19, 2021.