Acheivements & Inventions of Sumerians & Mesopotamians

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Achievements/
Inventions

Writing

The 12 month calendar

The wheel

The ox drawn plough

The sail boat

Irrigation

The first written law code

The invention of a way to measure time

Ziggurats

Sewers

Music and musical instruments

Religion and Gods

Writing
The ancient Sumerians believed in education. Record keeping was very important to them, and also a vital part of their life. They wanted their sons to learn how to read and write. Only a select group of boys were able to attend Sumerian schools. The boys were usually sons of the very wealthy. All the sacrifice and schooling was worth it. Once a student successfully completed twelve years of schooling, he was an official scribe, or writer. This was a prestigious position in Sumerian society. Scribes were very valuable in order to maintain and improve the record keeping that the Sumerians deemed so very necessary.

The Mesopotamian written language began as pictograms, pictures of things that acted as words. Pictograms worked, but they were not very informative and so they were only used for simple messages, such as information about crops and taxes. Over time, the need for writing changed and the signs developed into a script of wedge-shaped symbols - we call this written language cuneiform. I think that Cuneiform was really important and vital to the Mesopotamian race. I think this because it was used a lot in the Mesopotamian lifestyle, and also because Cuneiform was used by people throughout the ancient Near East to write several different languages, which means that it led to our written language which we still use today!

The 12 month calendar
In Mesopotamia, the solar year was divided into two seasons, the "summer," which included the barley harvests at the end of May or the beginning of June, and the "winter," which roughly corresponded to today's autumn-winter. Three seasons (Assyria) and four seasons (Anatolia) were counted in northerly countries, but in Mesopotamia the division of the year into two seemed natural. As late as c. 1800 BC the predictions for the welfare of the city of Mari, on the middle Euphrates, were taken for six months.

The months began at the first visibility of the New Moon. The names of the months differed from city to city, and within the same Sumerian city of Babylonia a month could have several names, derived from festivals, from tasks usually performed in the given month, and so on. As early as the 27th century BC, the Sumerians had used artificial time units in referring to the fact of some high official. The Sumerian administration also needed a time unit comprising the whole agricultural cycle; for example, from the delivery of new barley and the settling of pertinent accounts to the next crop. This financial year began about two months after barley cutting. For other purposes, a year began before or with the harvest. This varying and discontinuous year was not precise enough for the careful accounting of Sumerian scribes, who by 2400 BC already used the schematic year of 30 12 = 360 days.

I think that the 12 month calendar is vital for our well-being in this modern world. Without the calendar, we would not be able to tell how long it is to a certain date, or whether we are in November, or maybe January, or another date in the year. It is one of the most important inventions of all time, in my opinion.

The wheel
The Sumerians first invented the wheel. They connected it to vehicles called chariots. It got them to places they wanted to go quickly. It was one of the biggest achievements in history. Without the wheel we wouldn't be here today. We wouldn't have all the cities and towns without the wheel. That is why the wheel is so important.

The wheel is everywhere on all our cars, trains, planes, machines, wagons, and most factory and farm...
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