The Sumerian Civilization and History
There and many great civilizations in the middle east, not only the Egyptian pharaonic civilization but there are also Sumerians has made one of the great ancient civilizations, so we will talk in this article about the Sumerian Civilization History of Sumerians.
Who are the Sumerians?
- Until now, their origins remain a mystery that scholars have not been able to reach.
- However, there are many assumptions, the most likely of which are that they migrated from their original homeland in Central Asia at the end of the last Ice Age and the desertification of the Arabian Peninsula.
- The Sumerians mentioned in their writings their original land which they used to reach its mountains by sea.
- They settled in the south of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in 3200 BC. Where the land was arable and they founded independent cities such as Ur, Uruk, Uma..etc
- The Sumerians named their state ken-gi and in addition named their language Em-gir “eme-gir”.
Where did the Sumerian civilization originate?
The Sumerian civilization originated in the south of Iraq.
The Sumerians themselves mentioned their clay tablets, which they wrote in the ancient Sumerian script.
When did the Sumerian civilization arise?
The beginnings of the Sumerian civilization appeared in the sixth millennium BC.
Why was it called “The Sumerian civilization“?
Sumer or Iraq nowadays had many names such as Sumer, Babylon, Shinar, Tigris, the Euphrates, and the twins.
- In addition, the Greeks called it “Mesopotamia”, which means the country of the two rivers.
- The Sumerians invented the Sumerian writing on clay tablets in 3250 BC.
- The main reason for the name “the Sumerian writing” is because they wrote these writings with a screw-like machine.
- This way of writing continued in religious writings until the first millennium AD.
The Sumerian Civilization and History
- The Sumerian state passed through different eras, and it contributed to the formation of the Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia.
- From the era of Uruk till the fourth millennium BC, the main characteristic feature was establishing the first cities.
- These cities have a specific pottery style.
- It formed an extension of the Ubaid culture, the first agricultural settlement along the Euphrates since the sixth millennium BC.
First: The era of Uruk
- The Uruk era began about 4000 BC and lasted until 3000 BC.
- The agricultural villages began, and then established the city of Uruk, which played a key role in this era.
- One of the most important features of this city is the temple of Inanna.
Second: The era of Jemdet Nasr
- The Uruk era ended with the prosperity of agriculture and an increase in the number of farmers.
- A new era appeared called the Jemdet Nasr era.
- Moreover, during the Jemda Misr era, new irrigation appeared, which was a historical achievement.
- This irrigation system contributed to increasing yields and increasing agricultural yields.
- The holy places spread in the cities, then this period ended in 2900 AD.
Third: The era of the ancient Sumerian state
- The ancient Sumerian state appeared after the control of many cities under one rule in 2800 AD.
- These cities such as, “Adab-Eridu-Esen-Kish-Lagash-Larsa-Nippur-Ur-Uruk”.
- The union of these states appeared in the ancient Sumerian state, and the sequence of rulers began.
Among the most important rulers in The Sumerian Civilization and History are the following:
- The city of Kish:
It is the capital of Sumer, and its first ruler was Atana in 2800 BC.
- The city of Uruk
The ruler of Uruk, the Miskyakashar, established a dynasty.
This dynasty was in the south of Kish.
It extended his control as far north as the Fertile Valley.
His son Enmerkar succeeded him in 2750 BC, and then the commander of the army called Lukalbandaz succeeded him.
King Enmebaraksi in 2700 BC. To restore the rule of Sumer to the Kish dynasty.
- Akkad City
The Akkadians inhabited northern Sumer.
They unified the north under their control, led by Sargon.
Then, he unified Sumer under the rule of one family in 2371 BC. Until the year 2191 BC.
The Akkadian language appeared and became the official language of Sumer in this period.
The era of the ancient Sumerian state ended after the Gutites invaded and controlled Sumer.
Fourth: The era of the modern Sumerian state
- In the era of the Ur III Dynasty, the modern Sumerian state was established in 2112 BC.
- The Sumerians were able to rewrite Sumerian as the official language of the state.
- The construction of ziggurats spread, most of which are located in Mesopotamia.
- They have listed temples that they built in Syria, Iraq, and then Iran.
- The most famous ziggurat in the world is Ur’s ziggurat.
- It is in Iraq near the city of Nasiriyah, which we now call the Dhi Qar Governorate in southern Iraq.
- In addition to the ziggurat of Aqarquf near Baghdad.
- They were 28 ziggurats in Iraq, and there are also a number of them in Syria.
- The end of this period was by the Elamites, where Sumer was subject to the Elamites for a period.
Fifth: The Ancient Babylonian state
- The ancient Babylonian state was founded in 1830 BC.
- Sumo Abom built a wall around Babylon, which he called Khirat Enlil.
- later followed by Sumo No, who continued to build the wall as well.
- Then Hammurabi, the sixth king of Babylon, control of the cities.
- In addition, the trade route made Babylon one of the most powerful cities at this time.
- The number of its kings was eleven, who ruled for more than three centuries.
- Elam from central Syria, west of Sumer, Akkad, Subarto, and Ashnunna submitted to him. Hammurabi became the master of Assyria, and then the state ended.
The development of the state in this period
- Hammurabi established many irrigation networks, as well as the development of laws regulating life.
- In addition to the development of science, knowledge, and the arts.
- After him, his son Shamsho Ilona ruled, but during his reign, rebellions occurred and the Houthis invaded the country.
- Then, the era of the ancient Babylonian state ended in 1595 BC.
- Later the dark period began, due to the scarcity of written sources about it.
- The Kassites ruled Babylon for a period of 400 years, starting in 1530 BC. M. And ending in 1160 BC.
- After that, the rule of the Assyrians of the country began.
- Then the state of Elam invaded and destroyed Babylon and plundered its wealth.
- Moreover, they took the famous Obelisk of Hammurabi.
- Later Nebuchadnezzar I ruled Babylon.
- He tried to unite the country, expelled the Houthis, attacked the Elein, and restored the obelisk again.
- The country went through many wars until the year 648 BC.
The modern Babylonian state
- It is also known as the Chaldean Empire, it began with the rule of Nebuchadnezzar Nasr in 625 BC.
- He made a treaty with the Assyrians and married them.
- Nebuchadnezzar II followed his father, who prospered in the country.
- During his reign, he built many temples and irrigation routes.
The most important features of the Sumerian civilization and history:
1. Arts and architecture in the Sumerian civilization:
- During the centuries that followed the Sumerian migration, the state grew and developed in the arts, architecture, and sciences.
- Flood control planning, dam construction, and canals and streams digging.
2. Urban emergence in the Sumerian civilization:
The transition from agricultural villages to city life spread.
3. List of Sumerian kings in the Sumerian civilization:
- The Sumerian texts showed the cities that ruled in the south.
- The important source for studying the Sumerian era is a list of the Sumerian kings.
4. Mudflaps in the Sumerian civilization:
- The mudflaps wrote the age of man before the flood, it was up to more than a thousand years.
- However, his age after the Flood did not exceed a hundred years.
5. Literary works in the Sumerian civilization:
- The most important of literary works is the epitaph of Ur.
- It was composed after the fall of the city of Ur at the hands of the Elamites. There are many other literary works such as the Elegy of Sumer and the Elegy of Nippur.
6. The Epic of Gilgamesh in the Sumerian civilization:
- The Sumerians left some pieces of literature, such as the Epic of Gilgamesh.
- It is the first developed literary work that spread throughout the world.
- It has been translated into more than one language.
7. Sumerian writing in the Sumerian civilization:
- In 3200 B.C.the Sumerians invented writing.
- They spread it in several Middle Eastern countries.
- The first schools in history were established in Sumer.
8. Cultivation and irrigation in the Sumerian civilization:
Irrigation methods were developed by digging canals and flooding the fields with water, as well as diversified dairy products.
9. Hunting in the Sumerian civilization:
- The Sumerians hunted deer, goats, wild sheep, rabbits, pigs, and oryx.
- In addition to hunting lions, which was the sport of kings, fishing for a variety of fish also expanded.
10. Religion in the Sumerian civilization:
- The Sumerian religion is documented in writing.
- They worshiped the main and ancient deities, in addition to the gods of each city separately.
- These deities merged with each other and the Sumerian pantheon appeared.
- It is found in most Sumerian writings such as the Epic of Gilgamesh.
The end of the Sumerian civilization:
- The continuation of the conflict between the Sumerians and the Elamites led to the disappearance of the Sumerians.
- In addition to the disappearance of their language as their cities became part of Akkad.
- Not only that, but the Amorites also eliminated the Sumerians in conjunction with the Elamites.
- The Amorites are tribes from the Arabian Peninsula and founded the Babylonian civilization. While the Elamites are tribes inhabiting western Iran today.
In the end, the Sumerian civilization is considered one of the oldest civilizations in the world. They have made many achievements and developments, the most important of which is writing. In addition to the tools they used and developed to harness nature under their command, the Sumerian civilization was established.