The early writing systems that emerged in Eurasia in the early 3rd millennium BC were not a sudden invention. Rather, they were a development based on earlier traditions of symbol systems that cannot be classified as writing proper, but have many characteristics strikingly similar to writing. These systems may be described as proto-writing. They used ideographic and/or early mnemonic symbols to convey information yet were probably devoid of direct linguistic content. These systems emerged in the early Neolithic period, as early as the 7th millennium BC.

See also Bronze Age writing

More information on the Wikipedia page [1]; the Proto Writing category is [2] and the History of Writing page is [3]