Storytelling is as old as humanity itself. The tradition of capturing the events and beliefs of communities reaches back to a time when humans first sat by a fire and told tales. History was preserved in the form of legends and mythologies that were passed down from one generation to the next, and offered answers to the mysteries of the universe and its creation.

Written accounts emerged at the same time as ancient civilizations, but at first the invention of writing met simple, prosaic functions—for example to record transactions between traders or tally quantities of goods. The thousands of cuneiform clay tablets discovered at Ugarit ...

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