Why do we know about Sumerian Civilization?
They left written records
Facts about Sumer
- Only boys were educated and had power and wealth
- Created 60 minute hour, 60 second minute 360 degree circle and use geometry to measure fields.
- 12 month calendar based on cycles of the moon
- Impossible to live forever if you are not a god
- Sumerian City States would always go to war with other city states to gain more territory and power
What is Polytheism?
Belief in many gods
What is a ziggurat?
- Hill of Heaven or Mountain of God
- Large temple that only priests are allowed to enter
How are city states separated?
Distance and land forms, mud and scorching deserts
How would city states protect themselves?
Surround themselves with a wall
Who headed Sumerian City States and what did they do?
- Ran government
- Led armies
- Led Building Projects
Main Jobs in Sumeria
- Merchants/Traders - traveled to other cities to trade for things Sumer did not have
What were the 3 social classes in Sumer?
- Upper - Kings, priests, government
- Middle - Artisans, merchants, farmers, fishers
- Lower - Slaves
Greatest Sumerian Invention
Writing. Cuneiform. Allowed people to keep records and pass on ideas. Only a few people learned how to write - scribes
- Marks cut into a damp clay tablet with sharp reed
- All symbols have triangle
- Long poem that tells about adventures of hero
- Example - Gilgamesh, a king who travels around the world and performs great deeds
- Number system
- songs, prayers, poems