Sumer was the southernmost region of ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq and Kuwait) which is generally considered the cradle of civilization. The name comes from Akkadian, the language of the north of Mesopotamia, and means “land of the...
The Sumerians were the people of southern Mesopotamia whose civilization flourished between c. 4100-1750 BCE. Their name comes from the region which is frequently – and incorrectly – referred to as a “country”. Sumer was never a cohesive...
Mesopotamia (from the Greek, meaning 'between two rivers') was an ancient region located in the eastern Mediterranean bounded in the northeast by the Zagros Mountains and in the southeast by the Arabian Plateau, corresponding to modern-day...
Sumerian Civilization: Inventing the Future
Imagine something that has never been thought of before. If one holds a book in one's hands, one can imagine an e-book, a large-print book, a picture book, all kinds of books. But how does one imagine a book in a world where even the concept...
Ur-Nammu (r. 2047-2030 BCE) was the founder of the Third Dynasty of Ur in Sumer who initiated the so-called Ur III Period (2047-1750 BCE) also known as the Sumerian Renaissance. He is best known as the king who composed the first complete...
The Gutians were a West Asiatic people who are thought to have lived around the Zagros Mountains in a region referred to as Gutium. They had no written language and all that is known of them comes from their enemies, including the Akkadians...
Early Dynastic Period (Mesopotamia)
The Early Dynastic Period of Mesopotamia is the modern-day archaeological term for the era in Mesopotamian history – 2900-2334 BCE – during which some of the most significant cultural advances were made including the rise of the...
Map of Sumer
The area which formed Sumer started at the Persian Gulf and reached north to the 'neck' of Mesopotamia where the two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates meander much closer to each other. To the east loomed the Zagros Mountains, where scattered...
Bull Inlay from Sumer
An alabaster inlay of a bull. Early dynastic period, 2750-2300 BCE. From Sumer, southern Mesopotamia, Iraq. (The Burrell Collection, Glasgow, Scotland).
Map of Sumer and Elam
Map with the locations of the main cities of Sumer and Elam.