Mesopotamia Trade: Merchants and Traders
The Sumerians offered wool, cloth, jewelery, oil, grains and wine for trade. The wool they traded was from animals such as sheep and goats. Mesopotamians also traded barley, stone, wood, pearls, carnelian, copper, ivory, textiles, and reeds. Mesopotamia was a region which did not have many natural resources. Therefore, the people who lived there needed to trade with neighbouring countries in order to acquire the resources they needed to live. Grain, oils and textiles were taken from Babylonia to foreign cities and exchanged for timber, wine, precious metals and stones.
We all think about doing something that we will be remembered for, and what do you do with mulberries is just the same for the ancient civilizations who brought us many inventions and innovations.
The Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia were no exception and they invented many things that are a part of our daily life today, from mathematics to weaponry. Copper was the earliest non-precious metal first used by the Sumerians, and somewhere around BC they developed the ability to fabricate it. At first, copper was used to made arrowheads, razors, harpoons, and other small objects, but as the years passed, the Sumerians also started making copper jugs, vessels, and chisels.
The objects which they made showcased the excellent craftsmanship of the Sumerians. The Imdugud Relief of BC is a great example of copper craftsmanship. Copper was beaten to form the images of these creatures and then framed in wood. It was also known as the Game of 20 Squares or the Egyptian game Aseb. One of the two boards that were excavated is kept in the British Museum in London. The game used four tetrahedral dice with seven markers and comprised of two sets, one white and the other black.
Historians believe that, similar to the ancient Egyptian game Senet, the Royal Game of Ur was a racing game, and possibly a precursor to backgammon. The oldest existing wheel in Mesopotamia can be dated back to BC. The Sumerians first used circular sections of logs as wheels to carry what is an earthenware pot called objects, joining them together and rolling them along.
Subsequently, they invented the sledge and then combined the two. Eventually, they decided to drill a hole through the frame of the cart and make a place for the axle. Now both the wheels and axles could be used separately. The Sumerians what is the meaning of the birth of jesus christ that logs which had worn-out centers were more manageable and soon these became wheels which could be connected to a chariot.
Invented by the Sumerians in the third millennium BC, this numbering system is known as the sexagesimal system. It is named so because it has the number 60 as its base.
Mathematics was developed out of necessity. The Sumerians needed to trade and create taxation policies, so there was an urgent need to keep records. Assigning symbols to large numbers was also necessary as they wanted to track the course of the night sky in order to prepare the lunar calendar.
They started using a small clay cone to denote the number 1, a ball for 10, and a large clay cone for An elementary abacus was invented by the Sumerians between and BC. Sailboats were invented in order to expand Sumerian trade. Wood and papyrus were used to make lightweight sailboats so that it was easy for them to move on water. The sails were given a square shape and were made of linen. For battle, the platforms were raised so that the arrows could be aimed at the enemy with more accuracy.
This invention in BC changed the face of trading and war, and the Sumerians were able to both advance their economy and provide protection for their people. Developed between and BC, what items did the sumerians trade script was the first writing system to be developed by the Sumerians. This style of writing was wedge-shaped. A stylus was used to produce different figures and pictorials by making cuts into soft clay.
Descendants of the Sumerians such as the Babylonians, Assyrians, and Akkadians used the cuneiform style of writing in order to keep records. They started with a pictorial cuneiform known as proto-cuneiform which later became much more complex. Symbols for cities, gods, nature, etc. The marks now conveyed the idea of words instead of signs.
There was also a reduction in the number of characters from 1, to With this reduction came a more phonetic style. In archaic cuneiform, the direction of writing was from left to right, and gradually a wedge-topped stylus was introduced which gave clearer strokes. People used the script for more than three millennia until an alphabetical form replaced it during the Roman era. The Sumerian Code of Ur-Nammu is the oldest surviving law in the world, and a copy of it was discovered in Nippur.
It is the earliest existing legal text and was created three centuries before the Code of Hammurabi. The laws are listed so that crime is followed by punishment, a way of law-making that became commonplace as time went on. Moreover, this code gives us a glimpse into the societal structure of the Sumerian civilization. The earliest of their states needed a ruler to govern many people living in a wide area.
Before the monarchy came into existence, Sumerian states were ruled by priests. The priest-kings had bureaucrats who were also priests. They assigned fields to people after surveying the land and also distributed the harvest among them. They also judged disputes, organized important religious rituals, administrated trade, and led the military.
However, there was the need for a legitimate authority which was beyond the tribal concepts of chieftainship. Therefore, the Sumerians judged that the authority of monarchs should be based on divine selection.
Later they started believing that the monarch himself was a divine power who must be worshiped. In this way they legitimized the authority of the ruler who was in a dominant position, both ruling the current population and serving later generations which settled in the Sumerian states.
The first confirmed monarch was Etana of Kish who ruled around BC. He was described as the man who stabilized the land. The Sumerians were the first astronomers to map the stars into different constellations these were later observed by the ancient Greeks.
They also identified five planets that were visible to the what is the pill an 627 eye. They documented a rudimentary cluster of constellations and noted the movements of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury. Furthermore, they used astrological symbols to predict future battles and the fortunes of city-states. Their month began with the sunset and the first crescent of the new moon.
This was seen for 18 hours after the 36 hours when the old crescent disappeared. The crescent was the thinnest of all its forms. The day consisted of 12 hours and it started and what is 8lbs in kilos with sunset.
They were also the first what items did the sumerians trade create a lunar calendar. Phases of the moon were used to count the 12 months of the year. The Sumerians had two seasons in their year. The first was the summer which started with the vernal equinox and the other was winter which began with the autumn equinox.
Sacred marriage rites were performed on the first day of the new year. According to ancient records, it was the Sumerian people who used copper weapons for the first time, and they invented spears, swords, maces, slings, and clubs. Sickles were commonly used in battle alongside axes and spears. The socketed axe was the most influential weapon to be invented by the Sumerians.
They even used chariots for warfare, and putting their invention, the wheel, to use in this way was a huge contribution to the military world. The Sumerians met the needs of their people by inventing things way before other civilizations even came into existence, and many of these inventions such as soap and irrigation are still in use today. The invention of the calendar still helps us keep track of our lives, and the development of weaponry has been crucial both in making war and keeping the peace.
All of these inventions have stood the test of time and continue to serve mankind thousands of years later. Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment. Fabrication of Copper Copper was the earliest non-precious metal first used by the Sumerians, and somewhere around BC they developed the ability to fabricate it.
Number System Invented by the Sumerians in the third millennium BC, this numbering system is known as the sexagesimal system. The Sailboat Sailboats were invented in order to expand Sumerian trade. Cuneiform Script Developed between and BC, cuneiform script was the first writing system to be developed by the Sumerians. If a man commits robbery, what are the side effects of abortion pill will be killed.
If a man commits a kidnapping, he is to be imprisoned and pay 15 shekels of silver. If a slave marries a slave, and that slave is set free, he does not leave the household. If a man violates the right of another and deflowers the virgin wife of a young man, they shall kill that male.
If the wife of a man follows after another man and he sleeps with her, they shall slay that woman, but the male shall be set what items did the sumerians trade. If a man proceeds by force and deflowers a virgin slave woman of another man, that man must pay five shekels of silver.
If a man divorces his first-time wife, he shall pay her one mina of silver. If it is a former widow whom he divorces, he shall pay her half a mina of silver.
Astrology and the Lunar Calendar The Sumerians were the first astronomers to map the stars into different constellations these were later observed by the ancient Greeks. Weapons According to ancient records, it was the Sumerian people who used copper weapons for the first time, and they invented spears, swords, maces, slings, and clubs.
Conclusion The Sumerians met the needs of their people by inventing things way before other civilizations even came into existence, and many of these inventions such as soap and irrigation are still in use today.
What was the purpose of trade in Mesopotamia?
Oct 08, · The people known as Sumerians were in control of the area by B.C. Their culture was comprised of a group of city-states, including Eridu, .
Sumer was an ancient civilization founded in the Mesopotamia region of the Fertile Crescent situated between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Known for their innovations in language, governance, architecture and more, Sumerians are considered the creators of civilization as modern humans understand it.
Their control of the region lasted for short of 2, years before the Babylonians took charge in B. Sumer was first settled by humans from to B. This early population—known as the Ubaid people—was notable for strides in the development of civilization such as farming and raising cattle, weaving textiles, working with carpentry and pottery and even enjoying beer.
Villages and towns were built around Ubaid farming communities. The people known as Sumerians were in control of the area by B. Their culture was comprised of a group of city-states, including Eridu, Nippur, Lagash, Kish, Ur and the very first true city, Uruk.
At its peak around BC, the city had a population between 40, and 80, people living between its six miles of defensive walls, making it a contender for the largest city in the world. Each city-state of Sumer was surrounded by a wall, with villages settled just outside and distinguished by the worship of local deities.
The Sumerian language is the oldest linguistic record. It first appeared in archaeological records around B. It was mostly replaced by Akkadian around B. Cuneiform, which is used in pictographic tablets, appeared as far back as B.
Writing remains one of the most important cultural achievements of the Sumerians, allowing for meticulous record keeping from rulers down to farmers and ranchers. The oldest written laws date back to B. The Sumerians were considered to have a rich body of literary works, though only fragments of these documents exist. Architecture on a grand scale is generally credited to have begun under the Sumerians, with religious structures dating back to B. Homes were made from mud bricks or bundled marsh reeds.
The buildings are noted for their arched doorways and flat roofs. Sculpture was used mainly to adorn temples and offer some of the earliest examples of human artists seeking to achieve some form of naturalism in their figures.
Facing a scarcity of stone, Sumerians made leaps in metal-casting for their sculpture work, though relief carving in stone was a popular art form. Under the Akkadian dynasty, sculpture reached new heights, as evidenced by intricate and stylized work in diorite dated to B. Ziggurats began to appear around B.
These impressive pyramid-like, stepped temples, which were either square or rectangular, featured no inner chambers and stood about feet high. Ziggurats often featured sloping sides and terraces with gardens. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon was one of these. Palaces also reach a new level of grandiosity. In Mari around B. Sumerians had a system of medicine that was based in magic and herbalism, but they were also familiar with processes of removing chemical parts from natural substances.
They are considered to have had an advanced knowledge of anatomy, and surgical instruments have been found in archeological sites. One of the Sumerians greatest advances was in the area of hydraulic engineering. Early in their history they created a system of ditches to control flooding, and were also the inventors of irrigation, harnessing the power of the Tigris and Euphrates for farming.
Canals were consistently maintained from dynasty to dynasty. Their skill at engineering and architecture both point to the sophistication of their understanding of math. The structure of modern time keeping, with sixty seconds in a minute and sixty minutes in an hour, is attributed to the Sumerians.
Sumerians left behind scores of written records, but they are more renowned for their epic poetry, which influenced later works in Greece and Rome and sections of the Bible , most notably the story of the Great Flood, the Garden of Eden, and the Tower of Babel. The very first ruling body of Sumer that has historical verification is the First Dynasty of Kish. The most famous of the early Sumerian rulers is Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, who took control around B.
A devastating flood in the region was used as a pivotal point in the epic poem and later reused in the Old Testament story of Noah. Somewhere around B. The first conflict resulted in the kingdom of Awan seizing control and shifting the ruling body outside of Sumer until the kingship was returned to the Kish. The Kish kept control briefly until the rise of Uruk King Enshakushanna, whose brief dynasty was followed by Adabian conqueror Lugalannemundu, who held power for 90 years and is said to have expanded his kingdom up to the Mediterranean.
Lugalannemundu also conquered the Gutian people, who lived in the Eastern Iraqi mountains and who would later come to rule Sumer. In B. She is the only female listed on the Sumerian King List, which names all rulers of Sumer and their accomplishments. This last Kish dynasty ruled for a century before Uruk king Lugal-zage-si ruled for 25 years before Sargon took control in Sargon was an Akkadian whose past is shrouded in legends that some claim were ignited by Sargon himself.
The claim is that he was the secret child of a high priestess who placed him in a basket and cast him off into a river, a story that was later utilized for Moses in the Old Testament. Sumerian tradition says that Sargon was the son of a gardener who rose to the position of cupbearer for Ur-Zababa, king of Kish, which was not a servant position but a high official.
Stone relief of Sargon I standing before a tree of life, dating back to 24thrd century B. Ur-Zababa was defeated by the king of Uruk, who was, in turn, overtaken by Sargon. Sargon followed that victory by seizing the cities of Ur, Umma and Lagash, and establishing himself as ruler.
His militaristic reign reached to the Persian Gulf. Sargon built the city of Agade as his base, south of Kish, which became an important center in the ancient world and a prominent port. Sargon took control of the religious cultures of the Akkadians and the Sumerians, making his daughter Enhedu-anna the head priestess of the moon god cult of Ur. Enheduanna is best remembered for her transcriptions of temple hymns, which she also wrote and preserved in her writings.
Sargon ruled for 50 years, and after his death, his son Rimush faced widespread rebellion and was killed. Naram-Sin considered himself divine and was leveled with charges of sacrilege. The Gutians invaded in B. Their era is marked by decentralized chaos and neglect.
It was during Gutian reign that the grand city of Agade decayed into wreckage and disappeared from history. The final gasp of Sumer leadership came in B. Ur-Nammu was known as a builder. Figurines from the time depict him carrying building materials.
During his reign, he started massive projects to build walls around his capital city, to create more irrigation canals, construct new temples and rebuild old ones. Ur-Nammu also did the considerable work of constructing an organized and complicated legal code that is considered the first in history.
Its purpose was to ensure that everyone in the kingdom, no matter what city they lived in, received the same justice and punishments, rather than rely on the whims of individual governors.
Ur-Nammu also created an organized school system for state administrators. Called the Edubba, it kept an archive of clay tablets for learning. Ziggurat and ruined walls of the ancient Sumerian city of Ur in modern-day Iraq. At the same time, Amorites had begun overtaking the Sumerian population. The ruling Elamites were eventually absorbed into Amorite culture, becoming the Babylonians and marking the end of the Sumerians as a distinct body from the rest of Mesopotamia.
The Sumerians. Samuel Noah Kramer. Ancient Mesopotamia: Leo Oppenheim. Sumer: Cities of Eden. Denise Dersin, Charles J. Hagner, Darcie Conner Johnston.
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