Ancient Mesopotamia 3300-331 B.C.E.: Communication, Transportation, Exploration Research Article from World Eras

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Clay Tokens. It is widely, though not universally, accepted that the origins of writing in Mesopotamia lie in the use throughout the ancient Near East since the eighth millennium B.C.E. of small clay tokens used for counting. These counters were modeled from pieces of clay that were pinched between the fingers into simple geometric shapes: spheres, discs, cones, tetrahedrons, and rods. The tokens might be further modified by the use of incised lines, notches, punches, and applique pellets. It is believed that each distinct kind of token represented one unit, or some aggregate number of units, of some discrete entity in the Neolithic Near Eastern economy, for instance a sheep or goat, a loaf of bread, or a jar of barley or oil. Accounts were apparently maintained by placing one counter for each object, or each aggregate number of objects, in a leather or cloth bag that...

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This section contains 1,810 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Ancient Mesopotamia 3300-331 B.C.E.: Communication, Transportation, Exploration Encyclopedia Article
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