(See Map of Mesopotamia) Unfortunately this accolade ignores the contributions of the Chinese people and the Harappans of the Indus Valley, (Modern day Pakistan) who were equally "civilised" during this period practicing metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin) and urban planning, with civic buildings, baked brick houses, and water supply and drainage systems. Called Cuneiform Writing from the Latin "cuneus", meaning "wedge", it was developed as a vehicle for commercial accounting transactions and record keeping.
The writing was in the form of a series of wedge-shaped signs pressed into soft clay by means of a reed stylus to create simple pictures, or pictograms, each representing an object. the script progressively evolved to encompass more abstract concepts as well as phonetic functions (representing sounds, just like the modern Western alphabet) enabling the recording of messages and ideas.
The clay subsequently hardened in the Sun or was baked to form permanent tablets. For the first time news and ideas could be carried to distant places without having to rely on a messenger's memory and integrity.
To keep the calendar aligned to the seasons they added seven extra months in each period of 19 years, equivalent to the way we add an extra day in leap years.
Despite decimalisation, we still use these sexagesimal measures today.
The technique was reputed to have been in use in China around the same time but no artifacts remain. In 1915 Nikola Tesla, in an essay entitled "The Fairy Tale of Electricity" promoting the appreciation of electrical developments, proposed what seemed a plausible explanation for some of the magical powers of the Ark.
He claimed that the gold sheaths separated by the dry acacia wood effectively formed a large capacitor on which a static electrical charge could be built up by friction from the curtains around the Ark and this accounted for the sparks and the electrocution of Aaron's sons.
He was the world's first named architect and administrator who around 2725 B. built the first pyramid ever constructed, the Stepped Pyramid of Saqqara. The first outlines surgical treatments for various wounds and diseases and the second contains 877 prescriptions and recipes for treating a variety of medical conditions making Imhotep the world's first recorded physician. The earliest evidence of the art of stencilling used by the Egyptians. in the fine linen, with cunning work." The Egyptians also made coarse glass fibres as early as 1600 B. and fibers survive as decorations on Egyptian pottery dating back to 1375 B. It was basically a wooden box of acacia wood lined with gold and also overlaid on the outside with gold.
Papyri were unearthed in the nineteenth century dating from around 1600 B. Other contemporary papyri described Egyptian mathematics. Egyptian teachings provided the foundation of Greek science and although Imhotep's teachings were known to the Greeks, 2200 years after his death, they assigned the honour of Father of Medicine to Hippocrates. Designs were cut into a sheet of papyrus and pigments were applied through the apertures with a brush. The Xia dynasty in China perfected the casting of bronze for the production of weapons and ritual wine and food vessels, reaching new heights during the Shang dynasty (1600-1050 B. The lid was decorated with two "cherubim" with outstretched wings.
Historians seem to agree that the wheel and axle were invented around 3500 B. 60 is divisible by 1,2,3,4,5,6,10,12,15,20,30 and 60 making it more convenient than using a base 10 decimal system when working with fractions.
The Mesopotamians thus introduced the 60-minute hour, the 60-second minute and the 360-degree circle with each angular degree consisting of 60 seconds.
The Mesopotamians discovered glass, probably from glass beads in the slag resulting from experiments with refining metallic ores.
They were also active in the development of many other technologies such as textile weaving, locks and canals, flood control, water storage and irrigation. Sometimes known as the "Second oldest profession", soldering has been known since the Bronze Age (Circa 3000 to 1100 B. A form of soldering to join sheets of gold was known to be used by the Mesopotamians in Ur.
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