When and where were clay tokens first used?
These clay tokens represent the first form of counting, before the invention of writing. They date back to the Neolithic period, 8000-7000 BCE and were found in Tapa Raza, south-east of modern Sulaimaniya Governorate, Iraq.
What are Mesopotamian clay tokens and what do they have to do with the development of writing?
The world’s first writing —cuneiform —(fig. 1) traces its beginnings back to an ancient system of accounting. This method of accounting used small geometrically shaped clay tokens to keep track of goods such as livestock and grain produced in the early farming communities of the ancient Near East.
What were clay tokens used for in Mesopotamia?
As farming became the more common way of life in Mesopotamia, plain clay tokens began to be used as representations of specific quantities of common commodities, such as one sheep, a small amount of grain, or a jar of oil.
When was clay tokens invented?
about 7500 BC
The paper analyses the development of the power of abstraction as illustrated by the evolution of counting in the ancient Near East. Tokens indicate that counting was first done concretely in one-to-one correspondence. The clay tokens, that appeared in the Near East about 7500 BC, abstracted the goods they represented.
What was the oldest evidence of record keeping practice of Mesopotamia?
The first written records date back a little more than 5,000 years in Egypt and ancient Sumer. The earliest Sumerian records were made using reeds cut at an angle to make wedge-shaped (cuneiform) marks on clay, which was then baked hard. Many of these clay tablets survive today, and scholars can still read them.
What was the largest city in Mesopotamia?
Uruk was one of the first major cities in the history of the world. It reached its peak around 2900 BC when it had an estimated population of nearly 80,000 people making it the largest city in the world.
What did Mesopotamia use to write?
Most writing from ancient Mesopotamia is on clay tablets. Damp clay was formed into a flat tablet. The writer used a stylus made from a stick or reed to impress the symbols in the clay, then left the tablet in the air to harden. This tablet is marked with symbols showing quantities of barley rations for workers.
What is the importance of clay tablets as evidence for Mesopotamia history?
The clay tablets are important evidence because it shows the tablets which the Mesopotamians wrote their notes and art, showing how they think and how they were recording their lives before there were things such as paper or computers.
What is a token in Mesopotamia?
Archaeological digs in the Mideast have uncovered thousands of small clay objects, dating from as far back as 7500 BCE. These objects, referred to as “tokens,” have specific shapes and markings indicating a designated, but until recently unknown, purpose.
What is clay bulla?
A bulla (Medieval Latin for “a round seal”, from Classical Latin bulla, “bubble, blob”; plural bullae) is an inscribed clay or soft metal (such as lead or tin) or bitumen or wax token used in commercial and legal documentation as a form of authentication and for tamper-proofing whatever is attached to it (or, in the …
What were clay tablets used for?
In the Ancient Near East, clay tablets (Akkadian ṭuppu(m) 𒁾) were used as a writing medium, especially for writing in cuneiform, throughout the Bronze Age and well into the Iron Age. Cuneiform characters were imprinted on a wet clay tablet with a stylus often made of reed (reed pen).
What is the oldest recorded event in history?
The earliest ‘historical’ events are verified by archaeology, not written records. A historical event that has been verified by hard science is the supernove observed by the Chinese in 1054 (and by Native Americans, but not recorded in writing) that created the Crab Nebula.