What have recently been found in Egypt could be the earliest known writings. The clay tablets have been carbon dated to between 3300 BC and 3200 BC. This discovery will upset the belief commonly held by hi8toriaas that the first people to write were the Sumerians of Mesopotamia, in about 3000 BC. Most of the tablets were found in the tomb of a king called Scorpion, south of Cairo. The writings in the form of line drawings of animals, plants and mountains are on clay tablets barely bigger than postage stamps. They have been deciphered as records of linen and oil delivered to King Scorpion I. Thus it seems that man's first writings were not a creative outpouring but the result of economics: when the chieftains expanded their areas of control, they needed to keep a record of taxes, paid in the form of goods.