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      At  first,  the  Sumerians  lived  in  the  foothills  of  the  Mesopotamia.

 There,  they   faced  the  problem  of  having  no  more  space  to  plant  their  crops,  so  they  didn´t  have  a   stable  food  supply.  They  decided  to  move  to  the  river  valley,  which  they  called  Sumer,   where  they  had  a  very  big  place  to  plant  their  crops.  The  population  was  very  big,  and   a  place  can  only  thrive  if  its  members  have  the  food  that  they  need  to  eat  to  be  healthy   and  survive.  They  invented  two  key  things  that  helped  them  have  a  stable  food  supply.   One  was  the  complex  irrigation  system,  which  provided  their  crops  a  regular  supply  of   water.  The  other  one  was  the  plow,  which  was  a  tool  used  for  tilling,  or  turning  the   soil  to  prepare  it  for  planting.    

Creating a Stable Food Supply

    The  Sumerians  finally  had  the  amount  of  food  that  they  needed  to  feed   the  whole  population  of  people  in  Sumer.  Nobody  would  starve  of  hunger  anymore.      

The Development of Irrigation System
 
  After  the  Sumerians  moved  to  the  river  valley,  in  spring,  the  rain  and   melted  snow  flowed  into  the  Tigris  and  Euphrates  rivers,  which  are  the  rivers  that   surround  Sumer,  causing  the  river  valley  to  flood.  That  was  a  very  big  problem  for  the   Sumerians,  which  they  later  solved  by  creating  the  irrigation  system  that  also  helped   them  with  many  things  including  getting  water  for  their  crops.  Like  that,  they   accomplished  to  solve  the  problem  of  an  uncontrolled  water  supply  in  Sumer.      

    The  Sumerians  built  networks  of  canals,  dams,  and  reservoirs  to  provide  their   crops  with  a  regular  supply  of  water;  that  is  the  complex  irrigation  system.     The  irrigation  system  was  a  great  invention  that  solved  the  problem  of  an   uncontrolled  water  supply,  but  with  it,  they  faced  another  problem:  It  was  how  to   maintain  it.  All  of  the  villages  had  to  work  together  to  maintain  the  irrigation  system,   since  it  needed  constant  repairs,  and  that  is  what  they  did.  Like  that,  they  finally  had  a   controllable  water  supply,  and  reliable  place  to  get  water.  

Development of a modern writing system
The  Sumerian´s  writing  system  was  a  very  highly  developed  written  language.   It  was  called  cuneiform.  That  name  comes  from  the  Latin  word  for  wedge.  The   Sumerians  used  a  wedge-­‐shaped  stylus  (a  very  sharp-­‐pointed  tool)  to  engrave  the   symbols  of  their  writing  in  clay.  They  developed  cuneiform  in  about  2400  B.C.E.,  and   its  earliest  examples  show  that  it  was  used  to  record  information  of  the  goods  that   they  exchanged  with  each  other.  When  the  Sumerians  first  started  to  use  cuneiform,   the  writing  system  contained  about  2,000  symbols  to  stand  for  ideas  and  sounds.  After   time  past,  from  2,000  symbols  it  reduced  to  approximately  700.  This  writing  system   was  based  on  an  earlier  and  simpler  type  of  writing,  pictographs.  A  pictograph  is  a   symbol  that  stands  for  a  real  object  like  for  example  a  dog.  People  used  a  sharpened   reed  to  draw  the  symbols  in  wet  clay  that  when  dried,  the  marks  would  become  a   permanent  record.  

 

Cultural Achievements in Arts
  Sumerians  created  and  developed  many  different  types  of  arts  as  a  part  of  their   culture.  They  created  many  helpful  elements  for  the  arts  that  were  the  start  and  base  of   some  of  the  things  that  we  have  today.  The  Sumerian´s  artistic  achievements  included   beautiful  works  of  many  materials  like  gold,  wood  or  stone  such  as  sculptures,  cups,   golden  daggers,  weapons,  mirrors,  and  jewelry.  The  Sumerian  architects  designed  big   rectangular  temples  called  ziggurats;  they  were  the  first  in  Mesopotamia  to  create   these.  Another  cultural  achievement  has  to  do  with  music,  which  was  a  very  important   part  of  their  culture.  They  invented  the  lyre  to  accompany  the  other  instruments  in  the   musical  songs.  The  lyre  was  like  a  small,  wooden  harp  made  of  a  sound  box  and  strings.   At  the  top,  there  was  a  wooden  bar  that  held  the  strings  in  place.  The  lyre  makers  made   some  decorations  to  it  to  show  how  music  was  so  valuable  for  them.  These  decorations   were  carvings  made  of  horn,  and  some  precious  stones.  

 

                                     

 

Technological Advances
  The  Sumerians  were  a  very  advanced  civilization  in  technology,  like  in  many   other  ways.  They  had  many  technological  advances  but  the  wheel  was  the  most   important,  even  though  that  the  arch  was  another  very  important  and  valuable   invention.     Archeologists  have  found  remnants  of  the  wheel  that  date  back  to  3500  B.C.E.   At  first,  pottery  makers  used  the  wheel  as  a  surface  for  shaping  clay  into  pots.  After   some  time,  the  Sumerians  discovered  that  if  they  rolled  the  wheel  into  its  edge,  it   could  be  rolled  forward.  When  they  discovered  that,  they  started  to  create  wheeled   carts  for  farmers,  and  chariots  for  the  army.  When  the  Sumerians  didn´t  have  the   wheel  yet,  the  farmers  had  to  drag  the  crops  on  flat-­‐bottomed  carts  called  sledges  that   constantly  got  stuck  in  the  mud  to  the  city.  The  oxen,  which  were  the  ones  that   dragged  the  sledges,  could  carry  three  times  more  weight  on  wheeled  carts  than  on   sledges.       In  the  other  side,  the  arch  was  like  a  U  or  V-­‐shaped  structure  built  on  top  of  the   doorways.  To  make  these  arches,  the  Sumerians  stacked  bricks  made  out  of  clay  and   straw  to  go  up  like  if  they  were  steps  until  they  met  in  the  center.  What  the  arch  does   is  that  it  gives  strength  and  beauty  to  their  buildings,  and  it  became  a  very  common   thing  on  temple  and  upper  class  home  entrances.  This  invention  was  so  important   that  historians  say  that  it  was  one  of  their  greatest  architectural  achievements.  

   

    The  Sumerians  faced  a  variety  of  problems,  which  they  solved  all  with  a   very  practical  solution  for  each.  Solving  all  of  those  problems  took  them  to  rise  and  to   become  a  very  advanced  civilization.     • The  first  problem  that  the  Sumerians  had  was  that   there  was  no  more  space  for  food  storage  in  the   foothills.  They  solved  it  by  moving  down  to  the  river   valley  where  there  was  much  more  space.                 • Then,  they  faced  an  uncontrolled  water  supply  from   the  river.  They  solved  it  by  inventing  the  complex   irrigation  system.               • After,  the  Sumerians  had  the  problem  of  how  to   maintain  their  complex  irrigation  system.  They   accomplished  to  solve  it  by  making  all  of  the  villages   cooperate  by  cleaning  the  silt  from  the  canals  to  keep   them  open.           • And  last,  the  poor  Sumerians  had  to  face  ANOTHER   problem,  which  were  the  attacks  by  neighboring   communities.  They  solved  it  very  intelligently,  just   like  the  other  problems  they  solved.  They  built  big,   strong  walls  and  dug  moats  that  surrounded  the  city   so  that  the  attackers  couldn´t  enter.        

The  Impact  of  Physical  Geography  on   Early  Sumerian  City-­‐States  

 

 

Something from Ancient Sumer´s History that Affected my Life
The  Sumerians  have  affected  my  life  in  MANY  ways.  I  think  that  the  most   important  way  that  they  have  affected  not  only  mine  but  the  life  of  everybody  in  the   world,  has  been  by  inventing  the  wheel.  If  it  wasn´t  for  the  invention  of  the  wheel,  we   wouldn´t  been  able  to  travel  to  other  countries  in  less  than  one  day,  because  the  air   planes  would  of  not  been  able  to  land,  or  take  off,  since  they  wouldn´t  have  wheels.   Adults  couldn´t  of  gone  to  work  quickly  if  it  was  far  away  from  where  they  are,  since   there  would  be  no  cars,  motorcycles,  or  buses.  Also,  today,  everything  would  be  much   more  slower,  since  it  would  take  so  much  time  to  get  to  other  places.