The beginning of history (1/2) –

If you want to know what the beginning of history is, from a scientific and documented point of view, don’t hesitate to read this article, in which we explain how it all began or what studies have been carried out to find the beginning of the history.

In distant lands, where the people of Sumer are not known, my works will be recited as sacred texts and men will prostrate before my words”.

Poem of King Shulgi, 2100 BC. c.

the beginning of the story

Before beginning with the explanation of the beginning of the story, it seems opportune to highlight that do not confuse the beginning of history with the beginning of life. It may be obvious, but it is worth remembering that the story itself is divided into two: prehistory, made up of two ages, that of stone and that of metals; and history itself, classified in turn into four ages, such as the ancient, the middle, the modern and the contemporary ages.

And as we will explain throughout this article the fact that marks this division and separates prehistory from history is none other than the appearance of writing. We can only know the original date in an estimate, but even so, this allows us to understand that this great change supposes a transformation and an advance for human life.

The reason why it began to be written, however, was more practical than mystical., and is related to the way in which Neolithic farmers (in 6000 BC) controlled the storage and distribution of food. They marked the amounts on small pieces of clay that, thanks to their different shapes, allowed them to record livestock and agricultural products as an inventory.

To prevent the counts from being tampered with, after It was customary to introduce these pieces of clay with calculations in hollow balls of clay. These containers, called bullas, were sealed and numerically marked.

These elementary systems, however, ceased to be practical when small Sumerian settlements became important city-states. Thus, the administrators of the temples, who had to register enormous amounts of goods and resources daily, decided to abandon the traditional bulla system and began to engrave signs and drawings on clay tablets, that is, to write, giving rise to the beginning of the history.

The beginning of the story | The King of Ur

We relate the beginning of the story to the King of Ur, Shulgi, who was the second of the third dynasty of Ur (2111 BC). His reign extended to forty-six years, which, at the time, was considered an especially long period of time. It was an absolute monarch: Shulgi decided on everything that concerned his kingdom, although he also He was considered a god on earth, a link between divinities and mortals.. This in particular was quite common at the time.

Four millennia ago, this man, King of Ur, knew very well what he was saying, and I am referring to the quote that we found at the beginning of this article. Today, when writing, nobody stops to think about the relevance of the act. But this gentleman already knew that, through his marvelous invention of his culture, his words would be captured in history thanks to writing. Perhaps he did not imagine that they would be discussed 4000 years later through a network connection between computers, but he did not expect less for that.

Through what is written, the word takes an almost sacred flight, as King Shulgi predicted. What is written in stone is not easy to eraseand if it is written, it is because someone with sufficient knowledge and social relevance was able to do it.

Although it is curious, because of the vast extension of the kingdom of Ur thanks to Shulgi only victories are known. Something logical, on the other hand, since it was he who exercised power over what was written. We know today that his foreign policy consisted of the conquest of surrounding and neighboring lands, as well as the expansion of arranged marriages, a very practical means of grow your influence.

Thanks to the expansionist desire of the King of Ur, Shulgi managed to bring the Sumerian people to their most splendid moment. We are going to talk about this civilization, which witnessed the birth of a before and after: writing was developed with them.

The beginning of the story | the sumerian people

The invention of writing by the Sumerians is generally considered humanity’s greatest cultural achievement., and the milestone that marks the passage from prehistory to history. From the representation of language through graphic symbols, the peoples, who only had the spoken word, were able to spread and perpetuate their thoughts and lives through the millennia.

It is in the city of Uruk where the Sumerian people recorded their best technological advances, these being also the most important for history. It makes itself known the wheel in 3500 BC and writing in 3300 BC. The settlement of the Sumerians in Uruk is said to date back to the Copper Age.

The Sumerian people were a hierarchical pyramid-shaped civilization, distributing power in layers, at the top of which was the King; then we find the heads of the most important scales, that is, the representatives of religion, politics and arms, such as the order of priests, the military and officials; just below, we find lower-ranking officials, specialized craftsmen and merchants; then we find the common and peasant artisans; and finally, to the slaves.

The beginning of the story | Gilgamesh’s poem

It is said that the possibility of recording things marks the beginning of history, because it is thanks to writing that historians can investigate what happened, who existed, where, and what they thought. An archaeological dig cannot speak like the Gilgamesh poem about the emotions of the Sumerian people.

The Gilgamesh poem is considered to be the first known written in verse under the technique of cuneiform writing (these are strokes or wedge-shaped marks).

In Akkadian (the language of the Sumerian people), this story narrates the adventures of a tyrant king whose name was Gilgamesh. The subjects of this king considered that Gilgamesh had been carried away too much by the lust he felt towards women, so they prayed and asked the gods to intervene.

Hearing the pleas, the gods sent a young man willing to confront the King. However, instead of ending the dispute in death, both men became friends and partners in adventures. The gods did not like this very much, as they understood that his change had not taken place and that instead of redeeming himself, Gilgamesh had further developed his desire for dangerous adventures.

Thus, the gods decided to kill the young man who was now a friend of the King, and before this, Gilgamesh felt the need to be immortal. It was known that in a distant land there was an old couple who had survived the Universal Flood, they knew the secret of immortality.

Gilgamesh undertook the journey that led them to them, and following the indications of the old couple, he went in search of a plant that provided him with what he most longed for. However, when he was able to get it, he had a mishap with a snake that injured the King, forcing him to return to his kingdom.

Gilgamesh understood then that immortality was a matter of the Gods and that he could not access it no matter how much he wanted to.

The beginning of the story (2/2)

do you still want to know more about the origin of history? Then do not hesitate to go through this other article in which we explain the second part of this same topic.