the earliest civilization, existed between the Tigris and
Euphrates Rivers from 3200 BCE. It occupied the southern portion
of Mesopotamia. The Sumerians were not an indigenous people (from
the local area) but probably came from the Indus Valley.
may very well be the first civilization in the world (although
there are sites which predate it). Sumerian civilization was
a sophisticated urban culture. From its beginnings as a collection
of farming villages around 5000 BCE, to the founding of Sumer
at around 3200 BCE, through its conquest by Sargon of Agade
around 2370 BCE and its final collapse under the Amorites
around 2000 BCE, Sumer was influential on later civilizations.
Sumerian cuneiform, the earliest written language, was borrowed
by the Babylonians, who also took many of their religious
beliefs. A striking similarity of the Sumerian
flood myth can also be found in Genesis.
They were skilled in developing irrigation systems, using
canals and dikes to transform their frequently flooded lands.
They also became fine metal artists as this headdress
earliest known literature, the Epic
of Gilgamesh came from Sumer. This work began in
an oral tradition and was written finally on tablets
in cuneiform. It told the story of Gilgamesh,
the hero king of Uruk who traveled the world in
an attempt to understand and defeat death.
of Hammurabi was one of the first codifications
of law, and is one of the significant achievements of the ancient Babylonians.
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