Who Were The Sumerians?

Who Were The Sumerians?

In the annals of human history, few civilizations capture the imagination quite like the Sumerians. Originating in the fertile lands of Mesopotamia, they left an indelible mark on the world with their innovations, culture, and enduring legacy. Let's embark on a journey to unravel the mysteries surrounding this ancient civilization and explore the tablets that shed light on their remarkable achievements.

Who Were the Sumerians?

The Sumerians were among the earliest known civilizations to emerge in the cradle of civilization, Mesopotamia, around 4000 BCE. They inhabited the region known as Sumer, located in modern-day southern Iraq. Renowned for their advancements in writing, agriculture, architecture, and governance, the Sumerians laid the groundwork for future civilizations to flourish.

When Did They Thrive?

The Sumerians flourished during the Early Bronze Age, from approximately 4000 BCE to 2000 BCE. During this time, they established city-states ruled by kings, developed sophisticated irrigation systems, and built monumental structures such as ziggurats, temples, and city walls.

Tablets That Illuminate Sumerian Civilization

Several clay tablets provide invaluable insights into Sumerian culture, history, and achievements. Among the most notable are:

The Epic of Gilgamesh: This ancient poem, recorded on several tablets, recounts the adventures of Gilgamesh, a legendary Sumerian king of Uruk. Dating back to the 3rd millennium BCE, it is one of the earliest known works of literature and offers glimpses into Sumerian mythology and beliefs.

The Sumerian King List: This historical document lists the kings of various Sumerian city-states, along with the lengths of their reigns. While some aspects of the list are legendary in nature, it provides valuable information about Sumerian rulers and the succession of power.


    Inventions and Achievements

    The Sumerians were pioneers in many fields, contributing numerous inventions and innovations to human civilization. Some of their notable achievements include:

    • The invention of writing: Sumerians developed cuneiform script, one of the earliest known writing systems, around 3200 BCE. It enabled them to record transactions, literature, laws, and religious texts on clay tablets.
    • Advancements in mathematics: Sumerians introduced the concept of the number system based on 60, which influenced later civilizations and is still used in measuring time and angles today.
    • Agricultural techniques: Sumerians implemented irrigation systems to harness the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, transforming arid land into fertile fields capable of sustaining large populations.

    Sumerian Kings and Their Reigns

    • Enmebaragesi: He ruled over Kish, one of the earliest Sumerian city-states, around 2600 BCE. Although details about his reign are scarce, he is mentioned in the Sumerian King List.
    • Meskiaggasher: Another early ruler of Kish, Meskiaggasher is believed to have reigned around 2600 BCE. His name appears in the Sumerian King List alongside his supposed reign of 324 years.
    • Gilgamesh: A legendary figure in Sumerian lore, Gilgamesh ruled over the city of Uruk around 2700 BCE. His exploits were immortalized in the Epic of Gilgamesh, which speaks of his adventures and quest for immortality.

    In conclusion, the Sumerians were a remarkable civilization whose legacy continues to resonate to this day. Through their writings, inventions, and governance, they laid the groundwork for future civilizations to thrive. By delving into the tablets and records they left behind, we gain invaluable insights into their culture, achievements, and enduring impact on human history.



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