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Sumeria: First in Many Things


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• Part 2: It's All Business

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• Ancient Civilizations

Part 1: The Basics

Ancient Sumeria was advanced beyond belief. Their achievements in agriculture, literature, business, and science are unparalleled in that time period. Unfortunately for them (and for us), their achievements in military matters left a little to be desired.

First of all, the Sumerians recognized the need to trap excess water. Rainfall at times was scarce and other times too abundant. Sumerian cities were close to waterways of some sort, be they rivers or seas. The Sumerians built canals from these waterways to the cities. A natural extension of this idea was to build a reservoir to maintain a water supply. This was the advent of irrigation.

Secondly, the Sumerians invented the library. Other civilizations at the time were writing a little bit. But it was the Sumerians who were writing almost prolifically, about their religion and their laws and their business practices and their daily lives. They also recognized the need to maintain records of these theories and events. They stored their writings in what we would recognize as a book depository or, more simply, a library.

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