West Asia

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2 10, 2017

Where did alphabet letters come from?

By |2019-08-22T23:48:23-07:00October 2nd, 2017|West Asia|0 Comments

The first alphabet letters: the Canaanite alphabet Early Canaanite alphabet Each of the letters of the early Canaanite alphabet was the first sound of the most ordinary words in their language. The letter was a picture of that word's meaning. Who invented the alphabet? Writing before the alphabet Mesopotamian cuneiform All our West Asia articles [...]

16 09, 2017

West Asian sewage – Mesopotamia and Iran

By |2019-09-04T05:47:52-07:00September 16th, 2017|West Asia|0 Comments

A sewer from ancient Urartu (800s BC, now in eastern Turkey) As early as 800 BC, people in West Asia were digging ditches that led from their houses through the city streets to rivers to carry away their waste and drain off stormwater that flooded the streets when it rained (There were much earlier sewage drains in Harappan [...]

16 09, 2017

West Asian numbers – Ancient Mesopotamia

By |2019-10-15T08:00:49-07:00September 16th, 2017|West Asia|0 Comments

Neolithic counting tokens Counting with tally sticks and tokens The earliest way of writing down numbers was to carve notches in tally sticks, and this method spread from Africa all over Europe and Asia. But by about 9000 BC, people in West Asia began to use a different method of counting. Instead of tally sticks, people made clay tokens in [...]

16 09, 2017

Babylonian math problem – West Asian science

By |2019-09-04T05:48:54-07:00September 16th, 2017|West Asia|2 Comments

A real Babylonian math problem on a clay tablet What math problems did Babylonian kids do? This is a real math problem assigned to Babylonian kids in Iraq about 1900 BC. See if you can do it. Here's the problem: Suppose you have two equilateral triangles, one inside the other. Can you figure out the area [...]

16 09, 2017

West Asian mathematics – history of math

By |2019-09-04T05:49:16-07:00September 16th, 2017|West Asia|0 Comments

History of math: Sumerian multiplication table (2700 BC) Cuneiform multiplication table Once people in West Asia figured out how to write down numbers, about 3500 BC, they quickly began to want to use cuneiform to write down other mathematical ideas. (Read more about the invention of numbers) The earliest example of this that we have is from about 2700 BC. It [...]

15 09, 2017

West Asian science – Mesopotamia and Iran

By |2019-09-04T05:49:39-07:00September 15th, 2017|West Asia|0 Comments

The constellation Orion What did Mesopotamians invent? From the Stone Age through the Islamic empires, great scientific discoveries have streamed out of West Asia. West Asia is one of the places where farming got started, and maybe the sailboat. Farming  Early ships and sailing Numbers and writing The pottery wheel All our West Asia articles The Sumerians developed the [...]

15 09, 2017

Hanging Gardens of Babylon – West Asian science

By |2019-09-29T11:17:26-07:00September 15th, 2017|West Asia|0 Comments

Assurbanipal in the garden (see his enemy's head hanging in the tree?) One of the Seven Wonders Nobody knows for sure when or where the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built. But they were already famous as one of the Seven Wonders of the World in the Hellenistic period, about 200 BC. The most likely [...]

15 09, 2017

Zoroastrianism – Iran – West Asian religion

By |2019-09-04T05:58:45-07:00September 15th, 2017|West Asia|0 Comments

An Iranian fire sacrifice Zoroaster/Zarathustra himself Around 1000 BC (probably), about the same time that people in India were writing the Rig Veda, a man named Zoroaster (also called Zarathustra) was a priest in a small temple in the eastern part of West Asia, in an area with a lot of small kingdoms and no major power. Zoroaster believed that [...]

15 09, 2017

Who is Tammuz? Mesopotamia – West Asian religion

By |2019-09-04T05:58:59-07:00September 15th, 2017|West Asia|0 Comments

The god Tammuz (probably) with grain growing from his shoulders A West Asian god Tammuz (or Dumuzi) was a West Asian god who personified growing food, like Persephone in Greece or Osiris in Egypt. Like Osiris, Tammuz was male. The Sumerians worshipped Tammuz as early as 2600 BC - and probably much earlier - and so did all the other people [...]

15 09, 2017

What is Nowruz? Zoroastrians – West Asian holidays

By |2019-09-04T05:59:52-07:00September 15th, 2017|West Asia|0 Comments

Persepolis may have been built in the 500s BC as a place to celebrate Nowruz. What is the holiday of Nowruz? Zoroastrianism became much more popular suddenly when the Persian kings became Zoroastrians around 550 BC. Soon after that, Zoroastrian worshippers began to celebrate the first day of spring as an important holiday. That was the first day [...]