When comparing the Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian, and Hittite civilizations, I believe the Sumerians have made the most significant contribution to history.  While other civilizations had great works like pyramids and advanced mathematics, they all owe their knowledge to their predecessors, which were the Sumerians.  The Sumerians made advancements in writing, math, and innovations.

Writing is a key contribution because the Sumerians developed the system of cuneiform which used a wedge-shaped stylus to make marks on wet clay.  This cuneiform led the way to the tablet house where men came to learn how to write.  Scribes copied myths.  Epics were written like the Epic of Gilgamesh.  The king could have law written down if he wished.  All of this was made possible by cuneiform writing.

Math’s great contribution from Sumer was the sexagesimal system where things are based on counting units of sixty.  We still use this today as a way to tell time.

Innovations emerged during the Sumerian age.  The wheel and potter’s wheel were used for the first time so now they had carts and potters by trade.  Architecture changed with the ability to make domes and vaults because of kiln-dried bricks.  The ziggurat building became an architectural achievement and formed a basis for the idea of the pyramid.  All of these innovations were used by future civilizations.

Because of writing, math, and innovations, I believe the Sumerians qualify for having the most significant contributions to history of these civilizations.  I can drive because of the wheel.  I can be to class on time because of the sexagesimal system.  I can enjoy the beautiful domes of European cathedrals.  All of this because of the Sumerians.

– Hannah S. Bowers

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