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what do you think it means to be highly civilized?. Was Ancient Sumner a Civilization?. By studying artifacts that were found in the mid 1800’s, archaeologists have discovered tablets, pottery, and artifacts in Mesopotamia. Was Ancient Sumner a Civilization?.

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Was ancient sumner a civilization

Was Ancient Sumner a Civilization?

By studying artifacts that were found in the mid 1800’s, archaeologists have discovered tablets, pottery, and artifacts in Mesopotamia.

Was ancient sumner a civilization1
Was Ancient Sumner a Civilization?

  • One artifact the Standard of Ur was found where the ancient city of Ur stood. It was made from wood, lapis lazuli (Semi Precious Blue Stone) , and shell which probably was traded because it is not found close by.

Characteristics of a civilization
Characteristics of a Civilization

  • Historians have stated that these characteristics make a culture a civilization:

  • Stable Food Supply

  • Social Structure

  • System of Government

  • Religious System

  • Highly developed culture including arts such as painting, architecture, music, and literature.

  • Advances in technology

  • Highly developed Written language

Stable food supply
Stable Food Supply

  • A society has a stable food supply if they have enough food for its people to survive.

  • The Sumerians invented a plow to till the soil to prepare it for planting and this invention most affected the food supply.

  • The Sumerians made the plow out of wood and used animals such as the Ox to pull it, which are still used today.

The Plow

Social structure
Social Structure

  • Civilizations need a social structure with different jobs and social levels.

  • Archaeologists have found that the Sumner had an upper class made up of priests, landowners, and government officials.

  • They lived near the center of the city with two story houses.

Ancient city of Uruk

Social structure1
Social Structure

  • The Middle Class was the common class, which included merchants, craftspeople, farmers, fisherman, and the army. They lived in small brick houses at the edge of the city.

  • At the bottom of the social structure were slaves who had no property and lived in their owners homes.

Upper Class Sumerian House


Sumerian King

  • The Sumerian city states were ruled by kings and the Sumerians believed that those kings were chosen by the gods to rule in their place.

  • The Kings has the responsibilities of leading army, enforcing laws, and having temples built

  • Scribes were a person who helped record laws.

  • The Sumerians were the first people to develop a system of written laws.


  • In Sumner religious beliefs influenced every part of social life.

  • Sumerians expressed their religious beliefs by building temples and religious towers called ziggurats.


The arts
The Arts

  • The arts began to thrive in Sumner, with Sumerian metalworkers making weapons, cups, jewelry, and decorative items.

  • Music also began to surface with drums, pipes, and Lyres (harp) paying tribute to the gods.

Sumerian Lyre


  • Technology began to advance with the Sumerians and discovered the wheel and with that invention invented wheeled carts, and chariots for warfare.

  • Another technological advance was the Arch in architecture, which added strength Sumerian buildings.

Sumerian Arch



  • Archaeologists also discovered a written language called cuneiform, which also showed that the Sumerians were not prehistoric.

  • Sumerians produced cuneiform with a wedge shaped stylus (pointed tool) on clay tablets.

  • Cuneiform used as many as 2,000 symbols, but eventually reduced the number for 700 for their written language.