They were also active in the development of many other technologies such as textile weaving, locks and canals, flood control, water storage and irrigation. Sometimes known as the "Second oldest profession", soldering has been known since the Bronze Age (Circa 3000 to 1100 B. A form of soldering to join sheets of gold was known to be used by the Mesopotamians in Ur.
There are also claims that the Archimedes' Screw may have been invented in Mesopotamia and used for the water systems at the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Fine metal working techniques were also developed in Egypt where filigree jewellery and cloisonné work found in Tutankhamun's tomb dating from 1327 B. was made from delicate wires which had been drawn through dies and then soldered in place. Fine wire also made by the Egyptians by beating gold sheet and cutting it into strips. Around this date, after his escape from Egypt, Moses ordered the construction of the Ark of the Covenant to house the tablets of stone on which were written the original "Ten Commandments".
Initially inspired by the development of batteries, it covers technology in general and includes some interesting little known, or long forgotten, facts as well as a few myths about the development of technology, the science behind it, the context in which it occurred and the deeds of the many personalities, eccentrics and charlatans involved.
"Either you do the work or you get the credit" Yakov Zel'dovich - Russian Astrophysicist Fortunately it is not always true.
Thales also demonstrated the effect of static electricity by picking up small items with an amber rod made of fossilised resin which had been rubbed with a cloth. C.) an Ionian Greek, is considered by many to be the Father of Mathematics.
He also noted that iron was attracted to lodestone. Like Thales, he had travelled to Egypt and Babylon where he studied astronomy and geometry. "In a right-angled triangle the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides" is well known to every schoolchild.
In recent years batteries have changed out of all recognition. Today the cells are components in battery systems, incorporating electronics and software, power management and control systems, monitoring and protection circuits, communications interfaces and thermal management. Mesopotamia, incorporating Sumer, Babylonia and Assyria, known in the West as the Cradle of Civilisation was located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (The name means "land between the rivers") in the so called Fertile Crescent stretching from the current Gulf of Iran up to modern day Turkey. the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia developed the World's first written language.
(See Map of Mesopotamia) Unfortunately this accolade ignores the contributions of the Chinese people and the Harappans of the Indus Valley, (Modern day Pakistan) who were equally "civilised" during this period practicing metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin) and urban planning, with civic buildings, baked brick houses, and water supply and drainage systems. Called Cuneiform Writing from the Latin "cuneus", meaning "wedge", it was developed as a vehicle for commercial accounting transactions and record keeping.
They did not have the benefit of cheap, off the shelf, mass produced batteries. Bronze is a relatively hard alloy of copper and tin, better suited for the purpose than the much softer copper enabling improved durability of the weapons and the ability to hold a cutting edge.
For many years the telegraph, and later the telephone, industries were the only consumers of batteries in modest volumes and it wasn't until the twentieth century that new applications created the demand that made the battery a commodity item. The use of bronze for tools and weapons gradually spread to the rest of the World until it was eventually superceded by the much harder iron.
The writing was in the form of a series of wedge-shaped signs pressed into soft clay by means of a reed stylus to create simple pictures, or pictograms, each representing an object. the script progressively evolved to encompass more abstract concepts as well as phonetic functions (representing sounds, just like the modern Western alphabet) enabling the recording of messages and ideas.
The clay subsequently hardened in the Sun or was baked to form permanent tablets. For the first time news and ideas could be carried to distant places without having to rely on a messenger's memory and integrity.
Hieroglyphic script evolved slightly later in Egypt. found in a temple at Erech in Mesopotamia show a chariot with solid wooden wheels.