The bulla are incredibly interesting pieces of culture to look at. Firstly, consider their dual accountability. Not only is the bulla marked with the transaction, but it also contains the physical representation of that transaction. It’s like a back up plan in and of itself. If the writing on the outside is presumed to be incorrect, then just break open the bulla and count the tokens on the inside to see the actual value of the transaction. There in lies another safeguard of the bulla in the sense that the tokens contained within the hollow ball are also marked with what was traded. It’s a backup plan for the backup plan. In my opinion, the only people who would think of such an elaborate system of recording transactions are people who are incredibly paranoid of getting something wrong or people who have an exasperatingly close eye for detail. Also, one must consider the rather unorthodox size of this method of record keeping. These bulla were not paper receipts but instead clay balls. Balls, like a baseball. I’m slightly peeved if I have too many quarters in my pocket, let alone having to find a place to store the clay ball that recorded how much I payed for a gift. As such, the bulla is just one example of how important record keeping was to the people of the Uruk-period.
The other incredibly obvious example of record keeping is the whole concept of writing itself. If it’s not obvious how important writing was to the people of Mesopotamia just consider that among all those city states composed of different people who all worshiped different deities and who all had different kings, they all shared the same written language. They even had a different verbal tongue from ethnic group to ethnic group, yet they still kept the same written word. This was all to have a uniform style of record keeping.
This also proves just how vast the inter-geographical trading of the Mesopotamian people was. Since multiple spoken languages were involved, which is usually something that covers an incredibly large area difference, especially for the Uruk-period, it just shows how important transaction records were since they all agreed to keep to a common written language. It also proves the importance of trade to the people of Mesopotamia since they were in agreement to go through the hassle of making sure they were in concordance with each specific ethnic group in the idea of transactions.