Who sailed first?

The first civilization to flourish was the Mesopotamian civilization. They invented the cuneiform, sailboats, chariots, and wheels. Transportation was important to their culture and this lead to the invention of the Sailboats. The Mesopotamians started using the vessels five thousand years ago. The region (Mesopotamia) was located between two known rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. They, therefore, required vessels to facilitate water transportation for trade and travel.

An economy flourishes depending on its commerce and trade. Mesopotamia wanted to create good relationship ties with the neighboring towns and countries. In those early days, transportation of goods by roads was difficult and insecure. Roads were impassable during harsh weather conditions. The residents of the region had to come up with an alternative mode of transportation for people and goods. Water transportation was the only means possible hence the invention of the first boats.

Mesopotamian sailboats were simple wooden vessels that would facilitate transportation of people and goods upstream and downstream. The individuals who were navigating and guiding the boats had to be straight so that they would control the vessels across the wild waters. The solution of making these voyage vessels had to be polished and refined. Though the first vessels to be made had a primitive design, the vessels aided the people of Mesopotamia in commerce and trade.

The boats also helped in fishing and irrigation. Mesopotamians, therefore, perfected the fishing art. These people would go downstream using the sailboats, casting their nets in the deep waters, stay, wait and resume back home with a huge catch. Thus, fishing brought in another source of livelihood and food for the people by the help of the sailboats

The vessels of Mesopotamia were designed simply as mentioned earlier; the yachts were made of cloth and in a square shape. The direction and the angle of the sails could not be simply changed. The sails were very effortless when the wind blew in the direction where the sailboats are destined to go. On the other hand, it was very difficult to sail if the wind was blowing in the opposite direction and so they had to wait for the wind to blow in the direction of the sail.
The entire body or the hull of the vessel was made of wood. Chunks of wood were cut into planks, and the wood pieces were bumpily shaped and combined to make the hull of the canoe. Though the vessels couldn’t carry lots of people or cargo at a particular time, the Mesopotamian vessels could perform better compared to what other voyage vessels had to offer at that time. The effort they dedicated to the boat design provided the foundation for all tomorrow’s and modern sailboats. Even after the fall of Mesopotamian civilization, only a few changes have been made to the original design of the boat. This important invention greatly helped in molding Mesopotamian civilization to a great region and development along with the culture’s other contributions.
Lastly, Mesopotamia offered great contributions like textile weaving, glass making, and much more. Even though the voyage boats were not perfect and of limited capacity, these vessels revolutionized water transportation.


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