Ancient Sumer

3000 BCE

Sumerian Civilization (Introduction summary)

One day, a group of early settlers wandered into the land between two rivers. No one knows for sure, but there may have been a small band of people already living in the area. If so, the settlers quickly took over. They were real pioneers. They built permanent homes of sun-dried bricks made of mud and straw, and started a new life in the southern region of ancient Mesopotamia. The people who settled down and began to develop a civilization in the land between two rivers, are known as the Sumerians.

Article by Elizabeth Wood-Geographer, Smith Middle School

The Ancient Sumerian civilization was located in the area of Mesopotamia (West Asia, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers) northwest of the Persian Gulf. Within the Ancient Sumerian civilization, you would find the city-states of Ur, Uruk, Susa, Mari, and Ahsur. Due to their proximity to water, their civilization successfully grew. Because the Sumerians were near water, they had fertile soil for farming and an accessible trade route. Sumer had land that was used to grow grains likes wheat and barley. The domestication of these grains allowed them to thrive in subsistence farming.


They were geographically lucky because the climate, land, access to water, and domestication of plants and animals in West Asia allowed for growth as a civilization.

Today, what was once Sumer, you will find the countries of Israel, Lebanon, part of Turkey, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. The Mediterranean Sea is to the West and The Persian Gulf borders this area to the East. This area continues to experience warm and hot temperatures with an average rainfall of 0 to 10 inches a year.

Article By Natalie Cicero-Historian, Smith Middle School

How did your civilization get its start?

What were the order of events that lead to the success of this civilization?

Were there any important groups or leaders that influenced your civilization?

What specific events changed the course of your civilization, for better or worse?

Article by Nick Von Hoene, Anthropologist, Smith Middle School

What were the religious, social, and behavioral patterns of the people of your civilization? In what ways were these people advanced?What aspects of society were most important to them - - food, animals,gods/goddesses, mythology, religion, etc. ? How did people within this civilization communicate with each other?

Article by Jessie Brougher, Archaeologist, Smith Middle School

What objects or inventions had special importance for people of this civilization? What is the legacy of this civilization?What evidence is there that this civilization impacted our way of life today? Are there any legends, stories, or myths from this civilization that can explain the lifestyle of people in the ancient world?

Elizabeth Wood, Natalie Cicero, Nick VonHoene, Jessie Brougher