Archeology & Ceramics

We can presume that the very first pieces of ceramics were created by accident as some wet clay was unwillingly fired by some primitive cave people. The first use will have been as a vessel to hold water or carry some food to be preserved from rodents and insects or worms. When plasticity was discovered as a way of expressing inner feelings about existential fears, magic spells, fertility rites, that will have been the start of a real intensive production of works of art.
 

Civilisation & writing

examples of the oldest preserved documents.

Cuneiform and Paleo Hebrew

We generally admit that writing is about a little over 3,000 years old...only!  When you see a clay figurine of 25,000 years of age it makes you wonder how did we manage without writing for so long ?
 
Writing is the foundation of all intellectual development as it allows people to study and comment on previous knowledge without the fears of losing oral traditions.
 
It's also the start of serious commercial relationships based on recorded inventory for shipments and storage.