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Hist Essay 1. Mesopotamia Influence on Future Cilivilzations

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Autor:   •  October 11, 2017  •  Essay  •  981 Words (4 Pages)  •  182 Views

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HIST 115 6383 World History I (2178) Essay 1

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        Civilizations have changed over time. We started with practically nothing and have weaved our way into an impressive collection of societies that drive the civilized world as we see it today. Mesopotamia also known as the cradle of civilization was in a well diverse and variegated culture. It is from the Greek term which means the fertile crescent between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. Mesopotamia was an ancient region in the eastern Mediterranean between the Zagros mountain in the northeast and the Arabian Plateau in the southeast which is present day Iraq (Mark, 2009). The Mesopotamia civilization had great impact on future civilizations. There are several indicators in emerging societies during their developmental stages that proves their influence on civilization ranging from urban settlements, to the concept of writing (cuneiform), to written law, to the inventions of the wheel.

        Urban settlement in the Mesopotamian era or the new stone age people was centered around the development of farming and agriculture. People learned to grow their own crops, reared farm animals, and produced a surplus of food to sustain their community. Farming became a community event but the work had to be distributed for a balance society. They were farmers, some made tools, homes, while others created jewelry and artwork that could be used for trade. They worked together for the greater good of the community. The earth’s climate was much warmer in this period, which meant people could settle down in one area, while animals were trained to be useful to humans. The population of animals and the people increased tremendously (Giotto, n.d.). 

        Writing is the most vital step of any culture or civilization. It keeps an accurate account of the daily lives of people and interpret physical evidence of the ancient past. Writing (cuneiform) was first invented by the Sumerians during the period c. 3500 to 3000 BCE. It is also known that the Mesopotamian cuneiform became the hieroglyphics. The cuneiform was made up of making specifics marks in wet clay with a reed implement. It was used as a means of long-distance communications which was necessitated or demanded by trade. Impressions became the official records of commerce or trading between Mesopotamia cities. The pictographs symbols represented and aid in remembering the amount and type of goods that went to the many different destinations. Pictographs was later replaced by phonograms which became an easier way of conveying precise meaning. This new form of communication paved the way for records to be created, religious beliefs that later created an art form which was not possible before. It also spread to other cultures that was later evolved into the written language of these cultures (Mark, 2011).

        Written law or the Law of Hammurabai was one of the most influential concepts credited to Mesopotamian influence on social, political, economic and legal administrations. This Code serves as the most important legal collection of concise but detailed formation of the ancient Mesopotamia. The implementation of a cause-and-effect based judicial system predates early biblical law. The laws were inscribed on a clay tablet in Sumerian language and arranged in casuistic form, a pattern in which a crime is followed by punishment which was also the basis of nearly all later codes of law including the Code of Hammurabi ("Law in Mesopotamia", n.d.).

        The wheel was invented by ancient Sumerians around 3500 B.C with a concept that grow out of a mechanical device, the potter’s wheel. Before the wheel was perfected and made practical for moving heavy objects from one location to another. It went through many stages of development. The first wheel that was invented was “The roller”, then came second wheel “The sledge”. It was then followed by third wheel “A Sledge on Rollers”, then the Fourth wheel “A Sledge on a Grooved Roller”. The Fifth wheel came next “Two wheels with a Fixed Axle Spinning Between Pegs”, followed by the final wheel “Two wheels with an Axle, Attached with Bearings” (AntiquityNOW, 2013). This invention proved to be the most influential to future civilization because it allowed goods and people to travel to all parts of the world at a more rapid pace.


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