It is curious how the language, like any code, encrypts complex concepts which in some cases can be intuited even after thousands of years and although it is not difficult to fall into pure speculation, it always is a valuable exercise in imagination. In the Sumerian pre-Sargonic pictographic language from the third millennium, (I know, I Know, sounds very pedantic…) we may see some examples. For purely technical issues along the third millennium, the vertical glyph is oriented horizontally, probably the generalization of the method forced the adoption of a standard font that schools spread, during generations. We already can start to guess:
In some cases, during the process, the original meaning is lost to give us an unexpected source of information about human behaviours, several millennia ago. In the case of the word “lamb” radically changes the shape of the pictogram, integrating two specific concepts, the word “recipient, container” and the word “inspector in charge,” framing the second inside the first. I’ll stick with the theory that when was fixed the influence of cities in rural spaces, was established some link between livestock producers and the temple so that the lambs, not sheeps themselves, passed to stay “reserved for the inspector,” ie the temple.
Perhaps under the guise of some ritual, they took advantage of to select the fattest, or maybe not. In any case it is known that at these times, if someone had news of the birth of a deformed animal, with several heads, or whatever, should communicated immediately to the temple where the fact was duly registered, dating it and documented it in detail; the Sumerians became a hardened bureaucrats who had faith in that some kind of events like this was intrinsically linked with the fate of the powerful men and nations. In addition, like other contemporary peoples, sumerians liked to poke into the guts of some specimens strictly selected, eager to find into them, with so repulsive labor, you know, signs, omens, in short this kind of bullshit.
Bibliograph.: “Investigacion sobre la lengua y la escritura sumeria del periodo presargonico de Lagash III milenio a.C.” Mercedes Torrecilla 2004
“Ancient Mesopotamia” A.Leo Oppenheim 1964