Mesopotamia: Grounds of Many Ancient Civilizations

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Aaron Accardo AP Essay
Mesopotamia, also known as the land between two rivers, became the grounds of many ancient civilizations that we know about today. Perhaps one of the most famous is Sumer. Sumer was a civilization that thrived off of the two river, the Tigris and the Euphrates. Using irrigation systems, the Sumerians used the floods of the rivers produced to grow crops and support the growing population. This civilization grew into an early form of a modern city, with things like business, jobs, currency, and social classes. How were the Sumerians able to keep track of money and payments and when floods happened without a writing system? Eventually, the Sumerians were able to create to world's earliest writing system to keep record of all this. Later, that system evolved and became what we know as the Sumerians predominant style of writing, cuneiform.

With all the money transactions and trading going on, people needed to know and keep record of how much the transaction was and keep record of what was being traded. The Sumerians started very simply and began trying things like using pictures to be representations for different items and animals. This was what the earliest form of a writing system was. Using that style hey could tell exactly what things were. Over some time, this system developed into using those same pictographs, but now having certain symbols for certain words. This was established by 3100 B.C. However, as more complex ideas than keeping track of trades arose, a demand for a more complex system of writing had also risen. As time progressed, s system of writing known as cuneiform or "wedged-shaped" began to develop. This system of writing developed by about 2900 B.C, used symbols to represent ideas, sounds, syllables and objects. The symbols were pressed into tablets of wet clay which later, were dried in the sun preserving records and ideas and their history. This very long lasting style of writing became popular among the...
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