My current knowledge of Near Eastern clay tokens is:

  • They were developed and used in the Fertile Crescent and Anatolia from 8000 BC
  • They were an accounting system with a one to one correspondence with real goods (i.e. 3 cow and 4 grain tokens meant 3 cows and 4 measures of grain)
  • Sumerian writing developed from clay tokens
  • They continued to be used until about 600 BC

If so:

Did any sort of direct precursor to clay tokens exist?

In what area and time did they first emerge? Did they undergo any sort of development during the history of their use, save for the emergence of writing?

What was their geographic extend? Are they found at Catal Hüyük?

In what context are they usually found? Private households, temple manors or something else?

How exactly were they used?

How unique was the invention of clay tokens? Do similar systems exist elsewhere that didn't develop into fully-fledged writing?

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    Nov 26, 2019 at 18:17
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    A similar question had been asked here not too long ago.
    – tum_
    Nov 26, 2019 at 19:29


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