Ancient Civilizations

Science and Technology in Mesopotamia (Mathematics, Astronomy and Astrology, and Medicine)

Mesopotamians are likely best known for its creation of writing but their accomplishments in science and engineering correspond to the degree of socioeconomic development and therefore are similar with accomplishments of contemporary society. Harsh weather and ecological conditions demanded artificial irrigation, while the building of irrigation methods and construction activities significantly influenced the evolution of mathematics. On the flip side, annual inundations and agricultural activities caused the growth of calendar that centred on monitoring and analysis of these stars, moon and the skies.

Irrigation systems were crucial for Mesopotamian agriculture and demanded the cooperation of a broader community, superior organization and one plan which finally resulted in the creation of the centralized authorities. On the flip side, construction of irrigation methods and afterwards of temples, palaces and other buildings needed exact dimensions which caused the growth of mathematics. The Mesopotamians used the sexagesimal numeral system (base 60) and all four mathematical operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and exponentiation), whereas the clay tablets in the Library of Ashurbanipal include quadratic and cubic equations and fractions. Knowledge in geometry probably surrounded general principles for measuring volumes and areas. Mesopotamians also utilized π that was estimated.

The sexagesimal numeral system was used for rectal measurement: that the year has been divided into 12 weeks, per month to 30 days, day to 2×12 hours, the hour into 60 minutes and minute to 60 minutes. The Mesopotamians also divided a circle into 360 degrees of 60 arc minutes. The priests recorded and observed the celestial happenings from the temples that served as observatories. The priests wrote different celestial maps and apparatus for calculating paths of celestial bodies, although the Babylonians understood to figure out the motions of the sun, moon and planets (they understood 5 planets – Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mercury and Mars), and also to predict lunar and solar eclipses. The Babylonians used the lunar calendar that split annually to 12 lunar months (29,5 times ) and 11 days, while the brand new year began in spring. The archeological finds additionally revealed the Native Americans acquired that the zodiac of twelve evidence along with the very first horoscopes that caused the growth of astrology.

Code of Hammurabi

The earliest texts citing medication in Mesopotamia date in the Old Babylonian Period, more exactly from the 18th century BC rock pillar on which is inscribed the famous Code of Hammurabi. The Code of Hammurabi shows that besides healers the Babylonians had doctors who had been doing”surgeries” with working knives in addition to that they had been facing severe punishment when their patients expired. Afterwards were introduced the concepts of diagnosis, prediction, physical evaluation and prescriptions, while the texts medicine also contained detailed descriptions of symptoms and signs of various ailments and disorders. Among the most well-known Mesopotamian curative texts would be that the diagnostic guide by the 11th century BC that was composed by Parsippany doctor Esagil-kin-apply. The Library of Ashurbanipal also contained a herbal guide with descriptions of herbs and their use for therapeutic purposes. But, divination and exorcism stayed quite popular procedures for treating a string of ailments and disorders.

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