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A Hodgepodge of Ancient Facts III
Posted In: Ancient Civilizations  9/1/12
By: Yona Williams

The early beginnings of math, music, law, and science can all be traced to ancient civilizations. From the first laws to inventing objects still in use today, this article will highlight some of the achievements of the ancient past.

One, Two, Three…

When the leg bone of a wolf was uncovered in Czechoslovakia and found to have 55 cuts (arranged in groups of five), researchers marked this in the history books as being the first record of counting. While no one knows what the cuts represented, the evidence dates back 30,000 years ago.

The First Codes of Law

One of the first law codes established in history, the code of laws of Hammurabi included penalties, such as cutting off the hands of doctors who were found guilty of medical malpractice.

Faithful Companions

It was 12,000 years ago when man's best friend, the dog, became the first animal to be domesticated.

Ladies Take Note

Early cultures had already figured out ways to manage hair with the invention of the comb, which dates back to Scandinavia – around 8000 BC.

Early Scientists

When it comes to tinkering with science, one of the earliest known scientists dates back to ancient Egyptian days with Imhotep. Egypt was home to many ancient influential figures, including architects, scientists, and mathematicians – like the famous scribe called Ahmes. However, all of the honors can't be solely given to Egypt, as the Chinese, Sumerians, and Babylonians did not record the names of their early scientists.

Oldest Place to Live in the World

Since being populated around 2,500 BC, Damascus, Syria is regarded as the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.

Early Musicians

One of the earliest known examples of musical notation has been discovered on a clay tablet in Mesopotamia (which is now present-day Iraq). It dates back to about 1800 BC.

The Number 10

Using the number 10 as a convenient way to count was popular, but it was not the only system in place. The Gauls of ancient France, the Mayas of Central America, and other peoples of the ancient past relied on using the base of 20. A base of 60 was used by the likes of the Sumerians and the Babylonians because an even division by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, and 30 was possible. This is probably why the base 60 survived to influence the measurement of time – 60 minutes in one hour and 60 seconds in one minute.

Goodbye Tin Ore

It was 4,000 years ago when ancient populations used tin ore to create bronze objects. This trend led to the first time that humanity had depleted a natural resource – dating back to around 2,000 BC in the Middle East.


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