What Are Some Sumerian Accomplishments?

Some of the accomplishments made by the Sumerian civilization include creating the sexagesimal system, developing a set of laws and creating the cuneiform system of writing. Sumerians have also been credited with developing the potter’s wheel, although there is evidence an earlier version may have been invented in Egypt.

The Sumerians developed the sexagesimal, or base 60, system in approximately 2,000 B.C. This system influenced the creation of the 60-minute hour and the 60-second minute. No one knows why the Sumerians chose 60 as a base, but the system was very easy to use because 60 is divisible by 10 as well as 12, 15, 20 and 30.

The Sumerians had their own system of law to govern legal disputes, using information recorded on tablets to settle civil matters. The civilization even made use of arbitrators to try to settle disputes amicably. If a dispute could not be settled by an arbitrator, it was brought before a panel of judges. The Sumerians are also credited with developing the first written set of laws, the code of Ur-Nammu.

The first written language, cuneiform script, was developed by Sumerians. The script was based on pictograms, or visual representations, of objects. The marks of the cuneiform system had a wedge-shaped appearance, making them very different from many of the languages used in modern times.