Archaeologists know that the earliest writing humans have found so far is the so-called cuneiform. Its earliest use was dated back to 3400 B.C. in the ancient Mesopotamian area of Sumer. This writing took the form of wedge-shaped marks made into clay. But who is the earliest known author that scientists know of?
Enheduanna Is the First Known Author
While many people know about the epic poet Homer, the historian Herodotus, and the lyric poet Sappho, the earliest known author known to scientists today precedes those figures by about a millennium. It was the princess, priestess, and poet called Enheduanna. She was the daughter of the Akkadian king Sargon, who had most of Mesopotamia under his rule. She is also the first author whose name can be connected with an existing text. While scientists have many examples of Mesopotamian literature, her texts are an exception because they know it was she who wrote them.
Enheduanna Was the Daughter of King Sargon
After the Akkadian culture of northern Mesopotamia conquered southern Mesopotamia’s Sumerian culture, Enheduanna was the princess of the Akkadian Empire, which was also the world’s first collection of states under a single authority. King Sargon made his daughter Enheduanna the high priestess of the Sumerian moon god, Nanna, as part of the effort to consolidate his new empire. After assuming this role, the princess received the name Enheduanna, meaning ‘high priestess, ornament of heaven’ in Sumerian. So, the high priestess of the moon god was also her father’s representative and a very important figure. On top of all her responsibilities, she also wrote poetry.
An Alabaster Disk Shows Enheduanna
The modern world learned about Enheduanna from an alabaster disk found in excavations of the Sumerian city Ur in 1927. The disk is now kept at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia. It depicts Enheduanna on the front as she dedicates a dais to the Sumerian goddess Inanna, daughter of Nanna, and identifies her by name on the back. A few of Enheduanna’s poems were in honor of Nanna. In the writings of priestess Enheduanna, Inanna is described as both fierce and cruel, loving and kind, and capable of both generosity and destruction.
Most of Enheduanna’s poems are rich with autobiographical details, including her struggle against Lugalanne, who was likely the king of Ur. She describes how he attempted to forcefully remove her from office. This makes Enheduanna the first author to incorporate autobiographical details into the narrative. She is also the first author to share how she created her poems. According to her, the act of literary creation could be compared to childbirth, which is also the first known use of this metaphor.
Matt Damon Opens Up About the Global Crisis of Water Access
Actor, Matt Damon, has opened up about a serious problem in a recent interview, an issue which he has been actively involved in addressing and making people aware of for more than 15 years. It is the known, but often overlooked, fact that millions of people in the world still don’t have access to basic, clean, drinking water.
The Joint Effort
Matt Damon’s partner in his quest to solve the problem of water is Gary White. Professional engineer, White, has been working for decades to give access to clean water to the people who need it most. Both Damon and White started their own NGOs focusing on providing drinking water access to the needy sections of the developing world. In 2008, they met each other at a Clinton Foundation event. and decided to work together, combining their respective groups into a collaborative NGO named ‘Water.org.’ This organization distributes loans to help needy people install toilets or faucets in their homes. Till now, the organization has helped around 43 million people all across the world.
Matt Damon also revealed that, over the years, he and his partner have faced the occasional difficulty in trying to make the people of their circles aware and care about the global crisis, especially when it’s happening a world away. Damon also revealed his observation that people respond only to ideas that are feasible and produce results. That’s why their idea of small cluster loans to facilitate water access seems very right for them as one of the ways to break through the obstacles. They have been trying to engage people in this endeavor and secure more funds for the loans by proving this particular model of action. The actor seriously hopes that it will soon start to have the effect of pushing a snowball down the mountain with better awareness and participation.