 Sumerian Geography
Mesopotamia is
the name used for
the area watered by
the Euphrates and
it’s tributaries.
Mesopotamia is
now in modern day
Iraq and Syria. The
name Mesopotamia
name was
appropriate because
Mesopotamia was
located between the
Tigris and Euphrates
 The Fertile Crescent is a crescent-shaped region containing the most
moist and fertile land of the western Asia area. It is along the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers heading towards the Persian Gulf. Around 5,000 B.C.
the first cities were built in the southern part of this long crescent
valley by the Sumerians.
 Military
 The Big City Wall defended Sumerian cities. They
will engage in warfare between cities around them.
They had men that carried battle-axes, daggers and
spears around regularly. Regular infantry also used
copper helmets, felt cloaks and leather silts.
 The Sumerian invented the chariot. The chariot was
used to harness onagers.
 Agriculture
What they grew:
oChick peas
 Agriculture
Facts on Sumerian
They Raised goats, pigs,
sheet and cattle.
•They used donkeys as there
main transport animal.
•Sumerian agriculture
depended on irrigation.
•The canals often required
repairs removal of silt.
 Specialization of labor:
 The Sumerian labor resembled the social class
system. At the top most were the ruling elites.
This group comprised of the king who was
always brought into power by people votes. In
the group were also nobles, family members of
the rulers.
 Political Rulers:
 Hammurabi: The ruler of Babylon.
 Came up with the code of laws throughout his
Hammurabi had to rebuild Babylon.
After the decline of Sargons empire, the Sumerian
city-states began to decline. After that, it was all in
Hammurabi’s hands to fix. He founded his empire
centered in Babylon. He had also established written
laws that describes violations and there
He is known as Babylon’s highest achiever.
When he died, his position was taken over.
Religion and Faith
 The Sumerians consider the universe, heaven and
earth. The term universe, (an-ki) translates to
heaven and earth.
The Sumerians worshipped a god named An as their
primary god. The word "an" in Sumerian means
The God of Judaism obeyed the call of God to depart
northern Mesopotamia and travel to Canaan.
 Religion and Faith
 The Nether world:
The “hell”; world below is considered the
nether world. The dead go to the Nether
 Entering the Nether world you have to
follow the following rules:
Make no noise
No weapons
No clean clothes
You may not behave normal to your family
No sandals
Must duse himself with “good” oil.
 The Sumerian women were not allowed to go to school but they still
had rights. they could buy and sell slaves, own their own property, and
run their own business’s.
 Women were allowed to control the affairs of their homes when their
husbands were away but the men were still the head of the household.
 Cuneiform is the writing the Sumerians used. It is one of
the first writing system that man has ever used. It was a
picture writing system using symbols. It lasted from about
the 4th century B.E.C. to about the 1st centaury A.D.
 The writing would always seem to influence other styles of
writing for about 3,000 years.
Over the years, the language would change
several times
The Epic of Gilgamesh.
 Ancient Sumerians wrote down a story that is
considered, The Epic of Gilgamesh. It is the oldest
recorded story in the world. It tells about the
adventures of a king of Uruk. King Gilgamesh may
actually have existed. His name is on the list of
Sumerian kings because the Sumerians had once
wrote it down.
 The Sumerian people had many technological advances. Some include
glue, swords, armor, boots and harpoons.
 The Sumerians had three different types of boats. Skin boats that were
made out of animal hides, sail boats, which featured Bitumen waterproofing, and wooden oared ships, sometimes pulled up river by
animal and people.
 The city of Sumer was the 1st civilization to practice
intense agriculture and techniques.
 It has three levels:
1. Higher levels are for the government officials, priests
and soldiers.
2. The middle level is for merchants, teachers, laborers,
farmers and craft makers.
3. The bottom level is for slaves
 Ziggurat
Massive stepped pyramid 210 by 150 feet in size. It is made
out of solid care of mud-brick covered by a thick brick to
protect from elements. The ziggurat is part of a temple
complex that used to serve as an administration center for
the city. There is a kitchen that was used to prepare food for
the God’s. At night, it was occupied by one person that was
chosen by the priest.
 Caste System:
The caste system is part of the Sumerian society. It is made up of three classes;
amelu, mushkinu and slaves. The amelu were the top of the caste system where
the government, priest’s, and professional soldiers were found. The mushkinu
were the middle class where you could find the shopkeepers, farmers,
merchants and laborers. Slaves were the lowest in the caste system. Slaves
would be considered slaves because of multiple reasons, such as prisoners,
debt, or they could be born into slavery.
 General info:
The social structure of the Sumerians was different from the other
societies. The Sumerian communities were city states organized around
a temple and ruled by a priesthood. Most of the people from the
community were considered to be the servant slaves of the God from
the temple.
 Hammurabi codes:
Hammurabi codes was a form of laws that helped unify the
diverse groups within the entire empire. Hammurabi had
the code engraved in stone and copies were placed all
around the empire. There were 282 laws dealing with
everything that was effecting the community. They had
different punishments for the rich, the poor and men and
 What two country countries were part of Mesopotamia?
 Where is the most fertile land in western Asia located?
 What kind of helmets did the Sumerian infantry wear?
 What are three kinds of plants that the Sumerians grew?
 Who was the Hammurabi?
 Who was the Sumerian’s main God?
 What was one right that Sumerian women had?
 What was the name of the Sumerian writing system?
 How many types of boats did the Sumerians have?
 How many classes were in the Sumerian caste system?

Sumerian/ Mesopotamia Civilization By: