Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Lost Mesopotamian code discovered


Posted on Sunday, 13 October, 2013 | Comment icon 8 comments

An ancient Mesopotamian statue. Image Credit: CC BY 2.5 Marie-Lan Nguyen
Archaeologists believe they have uncovered an ancient form of record keeping that pre-dates writing.
The discovery was made during examination of a number of mysterious clay balls that were found in the region once known as Mesopotamia but that is now an area of the Middle-East that encompasses parts of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Kuwait and Turkey.

Using a sophisticated system of CT scans and 3D modelling, researchers were able to peer inside the 5,500-year-old objects of which only 150 have been found worldwide.

It is believed that the balls, often referred to as "envelopes", were a primitive form of record-keeping. Ranging in size from that of a golf ball to that of a baseball, many of the clay balls were found to contain a number of tokens designed in a variety of geometric shapes.

Researchers believe that these items may have been used as a way to record economic transactions. One particularly interesting example of this was a 3,300-year-old ball that contained 49 pebbles and a contract for a shepherd written in ancient cuneiform text.

Source: Discovery News | Comments (8)

Tags: Mesopotamia


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Mentalcase on 12 October, 2013, 22:31
"very first data storage system," ~ Very first iPad.
Comment icon #2 Posted by lightly on 13 October, 2013, 0:54
That's fascinating. The article asks how they could number and name transactions ... One of the "balls" contained 49 pebbles to represent sheep and goats . I notice the "ball" pictured has animals depicted on it. More than one way to convey information. Written words are handy though.
Comment icon #3 Posted by questionmark on 13 October, 2013, 11:52
That's fascinating. The article asks how they could number and name transactions ... One of the "balls" contained 49 pebbles to represent sheep and goats . I notice the "ball" pictured has animals depicted on it. More than one way to convey information. Written words are handy though. A similar system was found in the ancient smelting areas of the copper age. The delivery always consisted of two containers, one with the blooms and a second sealed one with the same number of pebbles as there were blooms in the shipment. That way things did not fall off the truck so easily.
Comment icon #4 Posted by pallidin on 13 October, 2013, 18:04
How odd, but interesting. Historical findings, however mysterious, has always been fascinating to many it seems, including myself.
Comment icon #5 Posted by lightly on 13 October, 2013, 18:50
A similar system was found in the ancient smelting areas of the copper age. The delivery always consisted of two containers, one with the blooms and a second sealed one with the same number of pebbles as there were blooms in the shipment. That way things did not fall off the truck so easily. That's interesting ... pretty ingenious . It could be re- sealed and used as a receipt. .. I can imagine someone forging duplicates too
Comment icon #6 Posted by highdesert50 on 14 October, 2013, 10:21
Perhaps, but for the benefit of debate, the Mesopotamians were a polytheistic culture having a multitude of the deities. Given the amount of work necessary to construct these rather complex sealed balls, perhaps the 49 pebbles representing sheep and goats were used in the context of a deity such as Lahar the cattle-god or goddess for protection and abundance.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Junior Chubb on 14 October, 2013, 21:16
"very first data storage system," ~ Very first iPad. Seeing as it is only understood by its users, I think you are spot on.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Stegosaurus on 15 October, 2013, 0:15
That's incredible! I love that we are constantly discovering more about our ancestors. It really leads us to believe they weren't as primitive as once thought.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Germany's nuclear fusion reactor really works
12-6-2016
Scientists have confirmed that the experimental machine is operating with 'unprecedented accuracy'.
Mysterious 'sea blob' sighted after 100 years
12-6-2016
A strange-looking invertebrate has been spotted by a deep-sea ROV over a century after its discovery.
Mystery surrounds Australia's Min Min Lights
12-6-2016
Strange balls of light have puzzled visitors and locals alike in Western Queensland for over a century.
Trip to the Moon could be available by 2026
12-5-2016
Moon Express is hoping to be able to send people on trips to the Moon within as little as ten years.
Featured book
 
By Toryn Chapman
Campbell Mackenzie is a successful lawyer with occasional feelings of déjà vu. There's just one problem, though - it's not déjà vu.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Indestructible coating ?
Posted 12-6-2016 | 4 comments
A look at polyurea, an elastomer that can make objects extremely difficult to damage.
 
World's longest shout
Posted 12-5-2016 | 1 comment
Christian Kinner from Germany managed to shout for over 43 seconds non-stop.
 
Top 10 facts about James Webb Telescope
Posted 12-4-2016 | 0 comments
A look at the upcoming orbital observatory and what it will see in the depths of space.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Not my daughter
12-2-2016 | Kansas USA
 
Curious cat
12-2-2016 | Australia
 
My ball lightning story
11-12-2016 | Kane, PA
 
My doppelganger story
11-12-2016 | Levittown, PA
 
The same dream
11-12-2016 | Pennsylvania
 
Paranormal activity ?
11-4-2016 | England
 
ESP experiences
11-4-2016 | United States
 
Witnessing hyperspeed?
10-13-2016 | United States
 
Auntie doppelganger
10-13-2016 | United States
 
Men in Black encounters
10-13-2016 | Canada
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2015
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ