Talk about time travel- today today Toni and I went to see Art of the First Cities, from the Mediterranean to the Indus, an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of stunningly beautiful and fascinating objects from the Third Millenium BC. I had to copy out one remarkable note:
"The early inhabitants of Sumer and Egypt were the first to develop writing. The Sumerians employed a counting system based on the number 60. This system was transmitted to the Greeks, then to the medieval world where the hour was divided into sixty minutes, the minute into 60 seconds, and the circle into 360 degrees.... The oldest collection of laws is attributed to Ur-Namma, King of Ur, 2100 BC. The first documented social reforms, offering protection to the poor, widows and orphans were compiled by Urukagina, ruler of Lagash, ca 2350 BC."