The Importance Of The Achievements Of Mesopotamian Society

1375 words - 6 pages

Through the development of writing, mathematics, metalworking, detailed law codes, and the wheel, Mesopotamians have shown their ingenuity with many different achievements. The world as we know it could not survive without writing. I am writing right now in order to do this paper, and the economy and so much of our lives is dependent on writing. Although it goes hand-in-hand with writing, mathematics is also a very important achievement of the Mesopotamians. Mesopotamians based their math system on sixty, but it is just as important and influential regardless. Metal work is another great achievement of the Mesopotamians; it improved warfare, made better tools, and is very important in life today also. Law codes, although mostly used as a guideline, helped to keep the peace and gave a true sense of authority and respect for the king. The wheel was one of the most influential inventions of all time, despite its simplistic origins as a potter's wheel and then later a solid way of pulling a cart easier. Writing is by far the most important achievement of Mesopotamian society. Developing from writing on clay "envelopes" as a way of keeping business records, writing was first used as a counting method. Later on, Sumerians, who were the first to develop a writing system, realized that it would be easier to simply write these notes on clay rather than on the round "envelope." The writing system that began to emerge is called Cuneiform and pushing a reed into a clay tablet produced these Cuneiform symbols. However, before the Cuneiform we know today developed, pictograms were used to represent several different sounds or words. These pictograms gradually became more abstract over time, and developed into a system of triangular shapes and lines. Writing promoted a person's social status, if you knew how to read and write you were someone. The choicest profession in Mesopotamia was to be a scribe, as almost no common people knew how to write, and even kings usually did not know how to write. With writing and the writing profession, schools began to develop to teach their pupils to become scribes. Most scribes worked either for the government or worked as the town scribe. Writing is extremely important today. It has been used in as simplistic things such as writing journals, to much bigger things, such as declaring independence from a mother country. The clearest way of describing the importance of writing is to show that definable history begins with the development of writing. Mathematics, used mainly for business transactions, arguably changed the world as much as writing did. The Sumerians were also the peoples to develop mathematics. Their math system was based on the number sixty, and this is where we get the sixty seconds in a minute and sixty minutes in an hour. This system of mathematics allowed the peoples of Mesopotamia to do everyday things such as the area of a room or how old a person was. The Sumerian system greatly improved...

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