People in the Fertile Crescent who, like many other peoples, believed that many different gods controlled the various forces in nature. Built impressive ziggurats to keep the gods pleased and offered rich sacrifices of animals, food, and wine. They worked hard to earn the gods' protection in life but expected little help of them after death. Social class affected the lives of both men and women. Historians believe that they invented the wheel, the sail, the plow, and were among the first of any civilization to use bronze. Also developed a number system, arches, columns, ramps, the pyramid design for ziggurats, and cuneiform.