The Sumerians Quotes by Samuel Noah Kramer
A Short History of the Sumerian Language
Periods in Sumerian History
Sumer a region of Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq was the birthplace of writing, the wheel, agriculture, the arch, the plow, irrigation and many other innovations, and is often referred to as the Cradle of Civilization. The Sumerians developed the earliest known writing system - a pictographic writing system known as cuneiform script, using wedge-shaped characters inscribed on baked clay tablets - and this has meant that we actually have more knowledge of ancient Sumerian and Babylonian mathematics than of early Egyptian mathematics. Indeed, we even have what appear to school exercises in arithmetic and geometric problems. As in Egypt , Sumerian mathematics initially developed largely as a response to bureaucratic needs when their civilization settled and developed agriculture possibly as early as the 6th millennium BCE for the measurement of plots of land, the taxation of individuals, etc. In addition, the Sumerians and Babylonians needed to describe quite large numbers as they attempted to chart the course of the night sky and develop their sophisticated lunar calendar.
Cuneiform is a system of writing first developed by the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia c. The name comes from the Latin word cuneus for 'wedge' owing to the wedge-shaped style of writing. All of the great Mesopotamian civilizations used cuneiform until it was abandoned in favour of the alphabetic script at some point after BCE, including:. When the ancient cuneiform tablets of Mesopotamia were discovered and deciphered in the late 19th century CE, they would literally transform human understanding of history. Prior to their discovery, the Bible was considered the oldest and most authoritative book in the world. The brilliant scholar and translator George Smith l. This translation allowed other cuneiform tablets to be interpreted which overturned the traditional understanding of the biblical version of history and made room for scholarly, objective explorations of history to move forward.
The Sumerians were one of the earliest urban societies to emerge in the world, in Southern Mesopotamia more than years ago.
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Cuneiform law , the body of laws revealed by documents written in cuneiform , a system of writing invented by the ancient Sumerians and used in the Middle East in the last three millennia bc. It includes the laws of the majority of the inhabitants of the ancient Middle East—especially the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Elamites, Hurrians, Kassites, and Hittites—who, despite many ethnic differences, were in contact with each other and developed similar civilizations. In certain periods this cultural community was reinforced by the diffusion of Akkadian , a diplomatic and scholastic language written in cuneiform. The various collections of cuneiform laws developed by the several nations and kingdoms have certain features in common: 1 The text of several collections contains a prologue and an epilogue in which the prince emphasizes the importance of his actions, explains the object of his work, and commands its observance by blessings or threats. Here it is possible only to illustrate some of the major extant laws or codes. The most ancient legislator known is Ur-Nammu , the founder of one of the Sumerian dynasties at the city of Ur. His code , dating from the middle of the 21st century bc , dealt with witchcraft, the flight of slaves, and bodily injuries.