The Most Important Inventions Of Ancient Mesopotamia

The fruits of Mother Nature's labor seem like child's play compared to some of the things people have produced. Humans invented the internet, buses, doctors who can save you if you get hit by a bus, and best of all, sliced bread. These inventions were made possible by the rise of civilizations, and for that, modern humans have ancient Mesopotamia to thank.

Nestled in the Fertile Crescent, ancient Mesopotamia was the Middle Eastern region encompassing modern-day Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and the Tigris and Euphrates river system, according to History. First inhabited in 14,000 B.C., it would become the birthplace of civilization and the mother of invention. Here are some of ancient Mesopotamia's most world-changing creations.

The place where the first farms grew

Few things have shaped human existence more fundamentally than the advent of agriculture, which cropped up in and around Mesopotamia around 10,000 B.C. As described by History, farming allowed humans to ditch their nomadic lifestyle. They grew chickpeas, flax seeds, and wild grains and raised sheep and cattle. According to Smithsonian contributor Lisa Bramen, power structures formed around who controlled the food. Meanwhile, greater accessibility to food freed up people to pursue other activities, like inventing new tools and raiding neighboring civilizations.

The reed is mightier than the sword

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you — unless, of course, those words were written with a pen, which is mightier than the sword. Long before humans cut each other to the bone with pens, they used sharpened reeds. And the first ever words to cut a person might have been written in Sumer. Located in present-day southern Iraq, Sumer is where experts believe the first writing system was developed, according to History. While that opinion isn't written in stone, the evidence is written on clay tablets that date back to 2800 B.C. and potentially earlier.

The Sumerians started with pictographs and graduated to linking symbols with sounds and words. Their writing system, cuneiform, spread to future civilizations. Far from being one-trick ponies, the Sumerians are also thought to have invented hydraulic engineering, metallurgy, plows, mass-produced bricks, and a precursor to mathematics, among other achievements. Though they didn't have the internet, the Sumerians might have been the best thing before sliced bread.