The oldest customer service complaint dates back to 1750 BCE, when a Babylonian merchant named Nanni wrote a letter to his supplier Ea-nasir, expressing his dissatisfaction with the quality of copper ingots he had received. Nanni accused Ea-nasir of breaking their contract and ignoring his repeated requests for a refund. The letter was inscribed on a clay tablet and found in the ruins of Ur, in modern-day Iraq.
Mesopotamia—the land “between the rivers” in modern-day Iraq—was home to the ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians.
Mask of Warka from Ancient Mesopotamia
The Mask of Warka, also known as the 'Lady of Uruk' and the 'Sumerian Mona Lisa' is a stunning marble face that dates back to around 3100 BCE. It was found in the city of Uruk, which is now called Warka in modern Iraq. It is the earliest known representation of the human face that was most likely an embodiment of the Goddess Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, war, beauty, sex and fertility. The mask gives us a glimpse into the culture and religion of one of the oldest civilizations in the world.
Akitu Festival: A Celebration of New Beginnings in Ancient Mesopotamia
The Akitu feast was one of the most important religious festivals in ancient Mesopotamia. It marked the beginning of the new year and the renewal of life in spring. It was also a time to honor the supreme god Marduk and his son Nabu, who were believed to have created and ordered the universe out of chaos. It reaffirmed Marduk's role as the supreme god and creator of all things. It also reaffirmed the king's role as Marduk's representative on earth and his legitimacy as ruler of Babylon. It also reaffirmed the bond between the king, the gods, and the people, who shared a common destiny and fate.
Iraq Dig Uncovers 5,000-Year-Old Pub Restaurant
The US-Italian team made the find in the ruins of ancient Lagash, northeast of the modern city of Nasiriyah in Iraq, which was already known to have been one of the first urban centers of the Sumerian civilization of ancient Iraq. Team finds primitive fridge, oven, benches for guests, around 150 serving bowls, evidence of eating, drinking, and even beer recipe inscribed on cuneiform tablet. A detailed analysis would need to be carried out on the samples taken during the excavations.
Golden Lyre of Ur
It is unknown which culture was the first to create music, but a set of beautiful Sumerian instruments from the city of Ur provide us with some insight into the world of ancient music. The famous Lyres of Ur, which are somewhat similar to modern harps, are the oldest stringed instruments unearthed to date. The Golden Lyre, found in the Great Death Pit at the Royal Cemetery of Ur (in southern Iraq), got its name because the whole head of the bull is made of gold. The eyes are made of inlaid mother-of-pearl and lapis lazuli. Research has shown that the bull played a key role in the religious imagination of the Sumerians: it could serve as the deity’s divine animal or the god himself could take on the form of a bull.
Gold Helmet of Meskalamdug (Mesopotamia)
Elaborate hairstyles became important for both men and women in Mesopotamia. The kings began to wear a full beard and long braided hair tied in a large bun at the nape of his neck. Women continued to wear their hair long, twisting it into large buns that covered the top of the head to the base of the neck and adorning it with ribbons and pins. The wealthiest people decorated their elaborate hairstyles with beautifully made jewelry of gold and silver. The gold of the helmet of Meskalamdug was expertly formed to resemble the hairstyle popular for men of the time: waves around the face with a bun tied in the back.
The Laws of Eshnunna: Oldest Written Laws
The Laws of Eshnunna are a collection of legal codes that were issued by the rulers of the ancient Mesopotamian city-state of Eshnunna in the 18th century BCE. They are among the oldest surviving legal documents in the world, and they reveal important aspects of the social, economic, and political life of the people of Eshnunna. The laws cover various topics, such as contracts, property rights, inheritance, family law, personal injury, homicide, theft, and slavery.
The Great Ziggurat of Ur: A Monumental Temple in Ancient Mesopotamia
Ziggurats were built by ancient Sumerians, Akkadians, Elamites, Eblaites and Babylonians for local religions. Each ziggurat was part of a temple complex that included other buildings. The precursors of the ziggurat were raised platforms that date from the Ubaid period during the sixth millennium BCE. The Ziggurat at Ur and the temple on its top were built around 2100 BCE by the king Ur-Nammu of the Third Dynasty of Ur for the moon goddess Nanna, the divine patron of the city state.
Oldest Cookbook from Ancient Mesopotamia
The earliest cookbooks found around the world give people today a fascinating look at not only what the people of the time ate but also their lifestyles, mainly of those from the upper class. The oldest known documented recipes in the world come from the ancient city of Babylon. The Mesopotamian recipe book is the oldest and the first documented cuisine in the world, of which only three Babylonian cuneiform tablets are extant today and is a set of cracked tablets engraved by an early civilization’s version of a master chef going back to 1700 BCE. The recipes are elaborate and often call for rare ingredients. The dishes were slow-cooked in a covered pot to make the food extra tasty. Ancient foodies seem to have preferred fowl and mutton.
Ancient City Shaduppum in Mesopotamia
Although Shaduppum was established as early as the late third millenium BCE, during the days of Sargon of Akkad, Shaduppum didn’t rise to prominence until the second millennium BCE, where it seems to have been a heavily fortified administrative station for the kingdom of Eshnunna, and its name means “the treasury.” Among the tablets from Shaduppum are two with parts of the Laws of Eshnunna as well as some important mathematical tablets, which are not only interesting, but surprising too. There remains much we don’t know about Shaduppum, that we may never know, but one thing is clear: Shaduppum was a city that had a little bit of everything that made it a Mesopotamian city worth a look.