Mesopotamian Inventions and Technology

Inventions and Discoveries of Mesopotamia

Why are the inventions of Mesopotamia so important to the world?

As one of the world’s first civilizations, the inventions of Mesopotamia had a huge impact on the development of the world. Many Mesopotamian inventions are still being used today, and have definitely had a huge impact on the world! Thousands of years later, the work of the clever early Mesopotamians is still integral (central) to our society.

Chariot invention mesopotamia

What kind of things did the Mesopotamians invent?

Well, for starters, the Mesopotamians invented the wheel. The first wheel was invented around 3500 BC. It wasn’t used for transport at first – it was used instead to aid in the construction of pottery – but later gained popularity as a method of transportation for the wealthy. Nowadays, the wheel is used all over the world, for transportation and for industry, and this clever invention has its roots in Mesopotamia.

Along with the wheel, the Mesopotamians also invented the chariot. The chariot was the first vehicle ever built, and one of the first farming implements as well. The chariot was an important fixture of many Mesopotamian armies, such as those in the Assyrian empire, and would go on to be crucial in the military strategy of Rome as well.

ancient mesopotamian inventions facts

Along with this revolution in land travel, the Mesopotamians also revolutionized sea travel with their invention of the sailboat. Though this boat was not very advanced – it was square in shape, and the “sail” was just a piece of cloth hung off a stick” – it served as the model for future generations to further develop the technology.

The Mesopotamians are responsible for the invention of time – or, more accurately, the invention of the system by which we measure time! The Mesopotamians invented the concept of 60-minute hours and 60-second minutes, the same way we measure time in the modern world. This revolutionized the way people lived.

While before, time could only be measured by the passing of the sun, the transformation of time into a physical force meant that people could better plan their days and lives, and no longer had to work by the schedule of the sun.

Naturally, this invention is still around in the modern world… in fact, I’m sure that if you’re reading this on a computer or other device, you’ll be able to see a clock somewhere on your screen!

The Mesopotamians also invented the world’s first maps. Cartography, the study of how to draw and read maps, was invented in Babylon around 2300 BC. Though the first Babylonian maps were simply sketches on clay tablets, this school of education soon blossomed into an incredibly important field.

The Mesopotamians’ ability to map out the world they lived in set them apart from other cultures, and gave their empires an advantage over foreign nations.

And as well as all that, the Mesopotamians also invented the concept of mathematics! The Sumerian culture of Mesopotamia was the first culture on earth to develop the system of counting, which was used to help explain trade.

The Sumerian system of counting only went as far as the number 60, and had no number to represent 0. Several hundred years later, the Babylonians invented the number 0, which once more revolutionized the system of counting.

The Sumerians were also responsible for the invention of the world’s first written language – cuneiform. Like counting, this was used mostly in trade, to keep track of what was being bought and sold, but later became popular as a common language.

The cuneiform system of writing was used by many Mesopotamian empires, and remained the sole written language for nearly 3,000 years after its creation.

Facts about Mesopotamian Inventions and Technology:

  • The Mesopotamians invented many things which are still used in the modern world.
  • The Mesopotamians invented the wheel.
  • The Mesopotamians invented the world’s first system of mathematics and counting.
  • The Mesopotamians invented the modern method of tracking time.
  • The Mesopotamians invented the world’s first written language.
  • The Mesopotamians invented the world’s first maps.
  • The Mesopotamians invented the world’s first chariots and sailboats.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What were the first wheels used for in Mesopotamia?

– Pottery.

  1. What was the name of the first Mesopotamian system of writing?

– Cuneiform.

  1. How high did the Mesopotamian system of counting go?

– 60.

  1. Who invented the number 0 in Mesopotamia?

– The Babylons.

  1. What is the name of the study of maps?

– Cartography.