The ways of cultural diffusion are manifold, intricate and complex but for Mesopotamia, it set the stage on which many civilizations rose and inventions were made. Notable contributors to the history of Mesopotamia include Sumerians, Phoenicians and Babylonians.
Living on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, Sumerians gave the world its first irrigation system. Set to control the river waters for irrigation, they dug primitive yet functional canals that not only improved their agricultural production but made them members of the earliest civilization. Irrigation led to communal effort and organization, making it necessary to establish a form of leadership for control. As a result, the Sumerian states were unified by Sargon (a warlord form the city state of Akkad) to form the world's first empire.
Sumerians boasted of a number of achievements that carried on into later centuries. Cuneiform, the name given to Sumerian writing, was the earliest known form of writing. Sir Henry Rawlinson, an archaeologist, excavated the "Rock of Bebistun", a tablet containing ancient Sumerian writing. Although primitive in that it was mainly symbolic, it was the basis for the development of writing in ancient times and a forerunner to the modern art of writing. From the discovery of writing stemmed several innovations. Sumerians composed some of the world's earliest known literature, most notably the "Epic of Gilgamesh", a Sumerian poem that deals with immortality. Sumerians also developed cylinder seals, which were special markers, used by trades' people as signatures and for ownership confirmation. This was the basis for the present day stamp seals used for the exact same purposes. They are also credited with being the first civilization to develop written accounts of trade and an interest-based credit system for lending goods to borrowers.
Being a highly agricultural society, most Sumerian inventions revolved around agriculture. T...