Sumeria First settlement of the Fertile Crescent- 4000 bc (a k. a. Mesopotamia) Tigris & Euphrates- annual flooding, good farming Problems in early Sumeria

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First settlement of the Fertile Crescent- 4000 BC (a.k.a. Mesopotamia)

Problems in early Sumeria:


Life in a Sumerian city-state

  • Ur, Nappar, Kish, Uruk

      • surrounded by cropland outside of city walls (mud bricks & stone)

Bazaar- area of trade and barter (record of exchanges kept)

- usually surrounded the ziggurat

Ziggurat- city temple, “mountain of god”, religious sacrifices

    • polytheism- “dingir”- lesser gods, temple gods, house gods, and demons

    • 4 Realms: An- god of heaven; Enlil- air-god; Enki- water-god; Ninhursag- earth-god Others: Utu- sun-god, Nanna- moon-god

    • afterlife sucked! “land of no return”


    • in peacetime ruled by priests

    • controlled harvests, taxes, offerings to gods, trade

    • in wartime ruled by chosen soldier- “lugal” (evolved into king)

Social Classes-

Downfall of Sumeria

  • 3000-2000 BC, continuous war between city-states

  • weakened to infrastructure of Sumeria, vulnerable to attack by nomads

  • 2000 BC, Sumeria collapses

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