Prehistory to the Fall of the Roman Empire

From earliest times, humans have used marks to designate ownership, sometimes as property owner or sometimes as manufacturer. It is considered probable that primitive humans used marks to indicate the ownership of livestock. Later marks were used to indicate the maker of goods and their obligation to the quality of their work. This use of marks was at its height in the Roman Empire.

5000 b.c.e.
Cave drawing show bison with symbols on their flanks, presumed to be ownership marks. Marks are found on pottery.

3500 b.c.e.
Mesopotamian commodities are identified with cylindrical seals.
Stone seals are found in Cnossos on Crete.

3000 b.c.e.
Bricks, pottery, quarry stones, and roof tiles from First Dynasty Egypt have marks believed to be ownership marks.

2000 b.c.e.
Potters' seals are found near Corinth.

6th century to 3rd century b.c.e.
Stamped ceramics used on locally made Greek pottery.

500 b.c.e. to 500 c.e.
Documented economic use of trademarks in Roman Empire. Bricks were stamped with a mark .


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