Ancient History Assignment 2, Sumer, Mr.

McNair
Step A./ 1. Government: The Sumer civilization was one of the first in the world to use the Monarchy governmental system. A king would rule certain states/cities within Sumer. Their job would be to run the army, be a judge in court, and take care of the overall state of their province. The king would have a council of upper-class citizens. The “council” would usually consist of priests and land-owners. The group would help out the king by assigning citizens land and surveying land. Royal families would change over time as citizens strike out against the present king and kill him, or when foreign kings conquer other states. 2. Religion: The Sumerian people worshipped many gods, not just one like present day Christians do. The Sumerians believed that the gods ruled the universe, and had humanlike features and personalities. Different gods represented different elements amongst other things. There was a god to represent water, earth, air, moon, and the heavens. The god of the heavens, who went by the name of ‘An’, who is kind of like the god Zeus in Greek mythology. Ziggurats, which are in some ways similar to the Egyptian pyramids, were used to worship the gods. Each Sumerian city worshiped a different god. One city may be devoted in worshipping the god of water, while another would worship the god of the air. 3. Military: The Sumerian military was largely full of regular infantry soldiers. The army also had war-chariots that were pulled by donkeys or horses, but the chariots were primarily used only for transportation. For armour, the army had copper helmets, leather kilts, and sometime used leather chest-plates as well. Copper was not used to protect the chest, only fabric was used for this. The army was used for both defence and offence. The army was run by the king and he usually accompanied his soldiers into battle as not to show weakness to his opponents. 4. Trade/Industry: The different states in Sumer traded amongst each other, as well as other countries in the middle east and the Persian Gulf. They traded local products for things such as ivory, and gold. They usually traded food for these items. The Sumerians made pottery, bricks, metals, and leather/cloth products, although the main job in Sumer was farming. A large part of the Sumerian economy was sustained by slaves who worked in fields and make clothes.

5. Agriculture: The Sumerian people grew many different types of food. They farmed everything from barley to onions. They knew how to use irrigation and they could make dykes and canals. To ease the workload on themselves, they would use ox’s to loosen the ground and kill weeds. They harvested during the fall. Slaves were used sometimes to work on farms. Many farmers did not own the land that they worked on, but just farmed on it and received a small amount of payment for what they did. Farmers who owned there own land were in a different class than those who don’t. 6. Sargon I: Sargon I was the first Emperor that the world ever saw, and he founded the Empire of Akkad. Sargon conquered every city of Sumer. Sargon’s childhood story is much similar to the story of Moses. According to the legend, Sargon was born to a priestess who did not want him as a son and placed him in a basket and put him in the river where he was found by a gardner who lived in Kish. There he was raised and he later joined the army and later struck down the king of Uruk and took over the rest of Sumer becoming the first ever Emperor. Sargon remained in power for about 56 years. 7. Ziggurat: At first glance, Ziggurat’s have a large resemblance to the pyramids built by the ancient Egyptians. But these pyramid shaped buildings built by the Sumerians were anything but. While the Egyptian pyramids were built as a burial tome for ancient Pharaoh’s, the Ziggurats were built as temples for the gods. These Ziggurats were built to make the people feel closer to the gods, as though they were within hands reach of heaven. Sometimes they were also used for festivals and just a general business/marketplace. How big the Ziggurat was would show how devoted the city was to a certain god. 8. Cuneiform: The first form of writing ever to appear on earth was called Cuneiform. The language was a crude form of writing that consisted of strokes and lines. The language first came about most likely to help farmers and business owners write down lists of what they have and what they owe people. Thousands upon millions of lists have been found in the Middle East. Most just say what that person owes another person. 9. C.L. Woolley: Charles Leonard Woolley was born on April 17, 1880 in England. Woolley was an archaeologist best known for discovering and excavating the Sumerian city of Ur. While in Ur, Woolley discovered many tombs of ancient royal family members who were buried with gold and other treasures. He also excavated numerous other Sumerian cities such as al-Mina. Woolly was knighted in 1935 due to his work in the field of archaeology. 10. Gilgamesh: Gilgamesh was the fifth king of the Sumerian city of Uruk. According to a legend, Gilgamesh was the son of a goddess, Ninsun. According to mythology, he was a demigod

with many superhuman powers such as super strength. Giligamesh ordered the building of the great wall of Uruk. He was something like the Greek hero Hercules.