Printing has been called the single most significant technical development of human history.
Prior to the invention of printing, virtually all communication was verbal.
It was difficult to to communicate to a large number of people.
Printing provided the ability to record ideas in a manner that can be passed through generations.
As early as 35,000 B.C. people were drawing messages on cave walls.
Pictographs were used to represent real objects.
Pictographs evolved to Ideographs, which were developed by the Phoenicians. For example, the symbol Aleph represented food, while Beth represented shelter.
By 900 B.C. the Phoenicians had also assigned sounds to the symbols.
The Greeks adopted and expanded the Phonetic system.
Aleph became alpha, beth became beta and the system of symbolic characters became the alphabet.
The Romans borrowed 13 Greek letters, revised eight and added two more in order to write in Latin.
Three additional letters were added later for a total of 26 as we know the Roman alphabet today.