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The Cities of Sumer. Chapter 2 Lesson 2 Pages 58-63. Early Cultures: Sumer. Sumerians were great inventors. Communication Government Transportation. Cuneiform. A system of writing developed in Sumer in the 3500 BC.

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the cities of sumer

The Cities of Sumer

Chapter 2

Lesson 2

Pages 58-63

early cultures sumer
Early Cultures: Sumer
  • Sumerians were great inventors.
    • Communication
    • Government
    • Transportation
  • A system of writing developed in Sumer in the 3500 BC.
  • Began as picture writing or pictographs and developed into symbols that represented sounds and objects.
  • Sumerian scribes used wet clay and scratched the symbols into the clay with a sharpened reed.
  • Boys only! Maybe a girl if she were the daughter of the most powerful ruler…
  • Made clay tablets and reeds.
  • Studied math and cuneiform.
  • Could become a ‘scribe” or official writer.
  • Scribes recorded everything.
city states
  • A self-governing city that also controls the surrounding villages.
  • From 3500BC – 2500BC.
  • Usually located on the Euphrates or Tigris river.
  • At war with other city-states over territory and water resources.
  • Ruled by a king.
walled cities
Walled Cities
  • Thick mud walls with large gates protected the city-states.
  • Gates were marketplaces and meeting places.
  • King’s palace was easily seen from everywhere.
  • the ziggurat was a religious temple located in the middle of the city.
  • Polytheism – worship of many gods and goddesses.
    • Ki – harvest
    • Ishtar – love & war
    • Enki - water
  • Priests and priestesses directed the work of many craftspeople working in the temples.
  • King of the city-state Kish.
  • In 2300 BC, Sargon united all the city-states of Sumer, and then Syria.
  • Created the first empire and ruled for 56 years.
  • His daughter, Enheduana, was a scribe and wrote poetry.
  • Managed his large empire using cuneiform.
    • Laws
    • Messages
    • Government documents.
lifestyles of the rich
Lifestyles of the Rich
  • Lived in large mud-brick homes.
  • Had servants who were slaves from conquered peoples.
  • Father was the head of household.
  • Women had little rights.
  • Played games & music, had feasts and parades, and told stories like the epic, Gilgamesh.
  • Sons went to school.
poor in sumer
Poor in Sumer
  • Everyone worked, no school.
  • Parents taught their trade to their children.
  • Lived in mud huts with reed mats for sleeping.
  • Clay pots and baskets were used for storage.
  • Father was boss.
the wheel
The Wheel
  • Farmers developed the solid wheel to use on their farms.
  • Solid round wheels of wood were first wheels.
  • Helped to transport goods and people more quickly.
  • Gave their army an advantage: war chariots
  • Greatly improved trade.