Sumerian civilization began thousands of years ago, when the ancient Sumerians built the world’s first towns and cities along the River Euphrates and the River Tigris. The Sumerians were the first civilization of the world, and the first to run on a system of social hierarchy.
The system of social hierarchy meant that everybody had a specific role to play in society, and this role was decided by the “station of your birth.” Poor people had children who would have to be slaves, while rich people had children that would live a rich life.
In Sumerian, there were four main classes of people: the priests, the royals, the lower class, and slaves. How a Sumerian spent their life depended a lot on their place in the social hierarchy.
The Sumerians were the people who lived in the Mesopotamian state of Sumer, located in West Asia. The Sumerians are one of the oldest civilizations known to historians; they’re even older than the Ancient Egyptians and are responsible for some of the world’s most important inventions.
Sumerian civilization is responsible for the invention of the wheel, the development of mathematics, and the creation of the world’s first written language. The Sumerians also invented the modern concept of time.
Before the Sumerians, time was measured by sunrise and sunset. The Sumerians are the ones who divided the day into 60-minute hours, and the hours into 60-second minutes.
What this means is that, in a way, the effects of the Sumerian civilization’s work are still being felt to this day. We drive to school and work in cars that have wheels. We measure our day in hours and minutes, and use mathematics every time we buy or sell something.
The Sumerian civilization is one of the world’s first, and is therefore called a “cradle of humanity” by historians as a result.
Most Ancient Sumerians were farmers, but some were craftsmen, teachers, hunters, fishermen, and soldiers. As in other ancient civilizations, men and women had different roles in society.
Men were expected to be strong, and take care of their families, while women were expected to have children and keep their home clean and tidy.
However, women had a significantly greater amount of freedom in Sumerian civilization compared to some others that developed in Asia; they could own property, work in other business, and were paid the same as men for their work.
As well as their place in the social hierarchy, the daily life of an Ancient Sumerian was also influenced greatly by religion. The center of daily life in Sumeria was the city’s ziggurat, a step-based structure that was built to honor of their gods.
The religion of the Sumerians was “polytheistic”; this meant that the Sumerians worshipped more than one god. Every town and city in Sumeria had a specific “patron” god that would take care of the people living there.
The people of Sumeria would go to the ziggurat to pray and ask for guidance from their patron god. However, they did not just pray to one god! The Sumerians believed that everything, good or bad, happened because of the gods, and lived every day in service to them so that more good things would happen. Religion was the most important part of Sumerian daily life.
– The Mesopotamian state of Sumer, in West Asia.
– Tigris and Euphrates.
– The wheel/mathematics/timekeeping/the world’s first written language.
– If a religion is “polytheistic,” it means that it has more than one god. The Sumerians were polytheistic.