Univ. Of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Sumerians created cuneiform script over 5000 years ago. It was the world's first written language. The last known cuneiform inscription was written in 75 AD. Pictograms, or drawings representing actual things, were the basis for cuneiform writing. As shown in the chart, early pictograms resembled the objects they represented, but through repeated use over time they began to look simpler, even abstract. These marks eventually became wedge-shaped ("cuneiform"), and could convey sounds or abstract concepts.