Major Inventions in Ancient Mesopotamia

Mesopotamian civilisation was one of the greatest civilisations of ancient world. It is interesting to study their technological innovations and scientific advances. The two rivers Tigris and Euphrates necessitated the invention of sail boats and canals. The people of Mesopotamia were discoverers of variety of things like the plough, cuneiform script, the algebra system, the calendar etc.


The Mesopotamians observed the sky and stars and discovered that time could be measured by understanding the movements of celestial bodies. Token was used instead of money. Tokens were small weights wrapped in clay balls and placed in a bag.

Sumerian texts date back to the ninth millennium BC. They used wedges to create pictures and signs in clay. This was the beginning of the cuneiform system of writing. Cuneiform means wedge shaped. Clay functioned as a permanent record of writing. A pointed wheel called stylus was used to write in clay tablets.


Writing was considered a virtue and scribes were respected because they possessed this virtue. Mesopotamians also brought into being the system of schooling. The chosen child would undergo education from the age of eight. He was to undergo training until the age of 20 and called the scribe thereafter.

Each and everything was recorded. Writing was held in high esteem and there were even libraries. They were the first to use courts and jails. The military system composed of infantry, cavalry and archery.


The plough was indeed an important innovation in the field of agriculture. It carried out the tasks of seeding and ploughing simultaneously. It was believed that god Enil created the plough. Farming was thus made easy. Wheel was also invented by the Mesopotamians. Wheels were connected to the chariots. The discovery of wheel revolutionised their transport.

They created two number systems. Max radix system was the first and Sexagesimal , the second which used sixty as the base. Sailboats were used to put net in the middle of the rivers or canals. By this, the people could get more fish.

The people of Mesopotamia also had their contributions to medicine. In the second millennium BC was the first use of medicine recorded. There were two doctors, the Ashipu and Asu. The latter was an herbal specialist. Wounds were cleaned, bandaged and plastered neatly. In a medical document dating back to 2100 BC describes this technique.

The Pythagoras theorem was introduced by the Mesopotamians. In addition, the arch, the dome, the column were all Mesopotamian innovations. The seven week calendar, the concept of zero and the 360 degree circle system include Mesopotamian discoveries.