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Here is why Cuneiform is the Beginning of Accountancy!

Cuneiform, the oldest system of writing not only gave way to poetry or trading, but can be considered as the point from where all accountancy started.

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Cuneiform, where the roots of accountancy lie
Cuneiform is considered to be the beginning point of accountancy. Wikimedia
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  • Cuneiform is the earliest system of writing in the world
  • This was invented by the Sumerians and emerged in Mesopotamia
  • This development led to the start of accountancy, the evidence being the existence of the clay tablets or the oldest accounting records

New Delhi, July 4, 2017: Noting the ubiquitousness of symbols and language, and our inability to stop thinking about them, the task to imagine our lives without them can look like a tough one. Be it the signs that are posted on the street corners, or the 1000 bucks in your wallet, it is the value that we have attached to these mundane objects, that makes the society go on without much chaos.

Ubiquitous that they seem to us now, signs and symbols were once a novelty. Cuneiform script is considered as humankind’s earliest system of writing developed by the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia. The name ‘Cuneiform’ is derived from the Latin word ‘Cuneus’ meaning ‘wedge’ owing to the style of writing which is wedge shaped.

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The purpose behind the creation of this system of writing remained a mystery for long. Julius Jordan, a German archaeologist deepened this mystery further by unearthing a vast library of clay tablets that were 5000 years old. The tablets came from Uruk, the Mesopotamian city on the bank of Euphrates. The tablets were shaped, “like the commodities of daily life, jars, loaves and animals,” Noticed Julius Jordan.

French archaeologist Denise Schmandt Besserat agreed when she cataloged similar pieces that were found, across the region from Turkey to Pakistan, some of them being 9000 years old. She believed that the token had one simple purpose which is Correspondence Counting– Tokens shaped loaves that could be used to count loaves, whereas the ones shaped jars could be used to count jars, mentioned BBC report.

Uruk being an urban economy required planning, trading, and taxation, and so came the need for the development of such a system of writing. Denise Schmandt Besserat also pointed out the resemblance between the tokens and the cuneiform tablets that suggested the use of these clay tablets in order to record the back and forth of the tokens, and hereby, these clay tablets gave existence to the world’s first accounts.

These clay tablets can be considered as the oldest accounting records to have existed.

– prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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A Significant Find By Archaeologists Hint At Piranha Like Fish In Jurassic Era

The new fish is a most interesting example of convergent evolution

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Fossil Fish
A new piranha-like fish from Jurassic seas with sharp, pointed teeth that probably fed on the fins of other fishes is seen in this artist's reconstruction of a fossil which was discovered in southern Germany in this image released from Eichstaett, Bavaria, Germany. VOA

You can call it a prehistoric prequel.

Scientists said on Thursday they have unearthed in southern Germany the fossil of a fish that, with its mouth full of razor-sharp teeth, strongly resembled today’s piranhas, the stars of more than their fair share of Hollywood horror films. But this one lived during the Jurassic Period 152 million years ago.

Named Piranhamesodon pinnatomus, it is the earliest known example of a bony fish — as opposed to cartilaginous fish like sharks — able to slice flesh rather than simply swallowing prey, enabling it to attack victims larger than itself as piranhas can.

Piranhamesodon, about 3-1/2 inches (9 cm) long, lived in the sponge and coral reefs of the Solnhofen archipelago, a shallow tropical sea in what is now Bavaria. Piranhas are freshwater fish that inhabit rivers and lakes in South America.

Fossil Fish
A new piranha-like fish fossil from Jurassic seas with sharp, pointed teeth that probably fed on the fins of other fishes, discovered in southern Germany from the time of dinosaurs and from the same deposits that contained Archaeopteryx, is seen in this image released from Eichstaett, Bavaria, Germany on October 18, 2018

Piranhamesodon was small, but its mouth was worthy of a scary movie. It boasted long, pointed, dagger-like teeth along the outer edge of its upper jaw and at the front of its lower jaw. It also had triangular teeth with serrated cutting edges on the side of its lower jaw.

“We were stunned that this fish had teeth which are capable of slicing flesh. It comes from a group of fishes, the pycnodontids, that are famous for their crushing teeth,” said paleontologist Martina Kölbl-Ebert of the Jura-Museum Eichstätt in Germany, who led the research published in the journal Current Biology.

“It is like finding a sheep with a snarl like a wolf,” Kölbl-Ebert added.

The fossil came from the same Bavarian limestone deposits as Archaeopteryx, the earliest-known bird.

“From the same quarry, we also have a number of other fish which may have been the victims of Piranhamesodon. They show injuries to their fins and fin bases, some freshly wounded before they died and got fossilized, whereas others show completely healed injuries with regeneration of the fin,” Kölbl-Ebert said.

Fossil Fish
With Piranha-Like Teeth, This Prehistoric Predator Never Bit Off More Than It Could Chew.

While it shares traits with piranhas, Piranhamesodon was neither their long-ago ancestor nor related to them at all. The oldest-known piranhas lived around 15 million years ago.

Piranhamesodon is an example of a phenomenon called convergent evolution in which organisms independently acquire similar characteristics as a result of adapting to similar ecological niches or environments.

Also Read: Fossils of 400 Year Old Invertebrate Marine Species Found in China

“The new fish is a most interesting example of convergent evolution, evolving — for bony fish then — a completely new way of life,” Kölbl-Ebert said. (VOA)