Lianghe civilization is one of the oldest civilizations in human history.
The ancient Greeks called the two river basins “Mesopotamia”, which means “the place between the two rivers”.
Historically, Mesopotamia can be divided into two parts.
The south part is called Babylonia and the north part is called Assyria.
Today, the two river basins are equivalent to today’s Iraq.
The emergence of the two river civilization the earliest residents of the two river civilization era were Sumerians, who came here before 4000 BC.
They established the initial civilization in the two river basin.
The later akkads, Babylonians, Assyrians and Chaldeans inherited and carried forward the achievements of the Sumerians, making the two rivers civilization an important page in the history of human civilization.
Among them, the Babylonians achieved the most.
Therefore, the two river civilization is also known as the Babylonian civilization.
Modern people’s understanding of the history of ancient countries mainly depends on written records.
Chinese characters are one of the oldest characters in the world, with a history of about 6000 years.
In other parts of the world, ancient characters have also been found, mainly including three kinds: pictographic hieroglyphs used by Egyptians around 3500 BC, alphabetic characters invented by Phoenicians over 1000 BC, and cuneiform characters used by ancient Sumerians and Babylonians.
The discovery of cuneiform characters is very similar to the recognition of Egyptian hieroglyphics.
It goes back more than 2500 years.
In March 522 BC, the then Persian Emperor gambisis led hundreds of thousands of troops to Egypt.
One of them, a monk named gomeda, pretended to be baldia, the younger brother of the emperor who was executed by gambisis, and launched a rebellion in all parts of Persia and MIDI.
The rebellion lasted six months.
Unfortunately, the emperor gambisis died on his way back to Persia.
For a time, the Persian nobles were headless.
At this time, a nobleman named Darius got the throne by conspiracy and finally put down the rebellion.
In order to celebrate his achievements, Darius had his story of putting down the rebellion engraved on a large rock near the village of betheston on the outskirts of akbatana, the capital of MIDI (today’s Hamadan, Iran).
This is the famous behiston inscription.
The behiston inscription is also inscribed in three languages: ancient Persian, cuneiform and new Elamite.
In 1835, French scholar Rawlinson accidentally discovered these inscriptions and made rubbings.
In 1843, he translated the ancient Persian, and then he compared these translated ancient Persian with cuneiform, and finally got through these cuneiform, and then solved the mystery of cuneiform.
The oldest cuneiform characters are written straight from right to left.
However, due to the inconvenience of writing, the glyph was turned 90 to write horizontally from left to right.
Archaeologists found that these cuneiform characters were invented by the Sumerians.
As early as 4000 BC, they created this kind of writing while developing the two river basins.
At first, this kind of writing was hieroglyphic.
If you want to express a more complex meaning, use two symbols together, such as “day” plus “water”, which means “rain”.
“Eye” plus “water” means “cry” and so on.
Later, they developed to use a symbol to represent a variety of meanings, such as “foot” and “walking”, “standing”, which is an ideographic symbol.
Later, a glyph can also represent a sound.
For example, the cuneiform “Star” sounds “en” in Sumerian.
If it is used to indicate pronunciation, it has nothing to do with the original meaning of the word “Star”.
It only indicates pronunciation, which is a phonetic symbol.
At that time, Sumerians didn’t know how to make paper, so their words were cut into triangular tips with reeds or wooden sticks, then engraved on a rectangular clay plate made of clay, and then dried in the air or by fire.
This is what people later called clay script.
In ancient Egypt, when characters just entered picture characters or riddle characters, generally important written classics would be recorded with clay tablets.
Because this kind of writing material has two obvious advantages over paper grass, parchment, wood or some iron ware, bronze and other writing materials: one is that it can be used at any time and the cost is low.
Second, it is durable and can be preserved for a long time.
At first, Sumerian clay plates were round or angular conical, which was not convenient for writing and storage.
Later, they changed the clay plates to square ones.
Most Sumerian writing materials are engraved on this kind of square clay plate.
It is precisely because of this that these words can be preserved.
So far, archaeologists have excavated hundreds of thousands of such clay tablets in the two river basins.
Because Sumerians use “pens” made of reed stalks or wooden sticks with triangular tips, the impressions at the place where the pen is placed are deep and wide, while those at the place where the pen is raised appear thin and narrow.
Later, this kind of ancient characters found in the Lianghe River Basin were called cuneiform characters.
Later, cuneiform characters spread to many places in Western Asia, enriched and promoted their culture and exchanges between them, and made great contributions to human civilization.
After the fall of the last Sumerian Dynasty in 2007 BC, the kingdom of Babylon inherited and carried forward this valuable cultural heritage.
How is the clay plate made? After research, it is found that the making process of the clay plate is as follows: first rub the clay hard, then make rectangular shapes of different sizes as needed, and round the edges and corners.
Generally, one side is relatively flat, while the other side is relatively convex.
After making the clay plate, you can write on it.
The calligrapher first drew a grid on it with a string, and then engraved words or drew pictures on the clay plate with a reed pen or other writing tools.
In fact, both sides of the clay plate can be engraved, but in order to avoid erasing the other side when writing one side, it is usually necessary to engrave the smooth side first, and then turn the clay plate over to engrave on the protruding other side.
The small clay plate can be engraved on the hand, while the large one should be written on a special shelf.
After writing on both sides, dry or fire the clay plate.
The clay plate after drying or fire baking is very hard, and the words or patterns printed and engraved on it can also be used.