Sumerians

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What is cuneiform? Mesopotamia – West Asian writing

By |2019-04-30T06:03:48-07:00September 15th, 2017|Literature, West Asia|

Cuneiform writing (now in LACMA, Los Angeles) Early Sumerian writing West Asia is probably the first place in the world where people figured out how to write. (Though Egyptian people began writing very soon afterwards.) How was writing invented? Who were the Sumerians? All our West Asia articles People seem to have begun to write [...]

Epic of Gilgamesh – Mesopotamian writing

By |2018-04-13T01:43:06-07:00September 15th, 2017|Literature, West Asia|

Epic of Gilgamesh: Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu fight the monster Humbaba, on an Assyrian cylinder seal from the 600s BC The real king Gilgamesh The Epic of Gilgamesh is a story about a Sumerian king (Gilgamesh) who seems to have lived around 2500 BC, in Mesopotamia. Story-tellers probably began telling this story not long after he [...]

Who were the Sumerians? Mesopotamia – West Asian history

By |2019-02-03T09:18:35-07:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Sumerians - Head of a woman from Warka, about 3000 BC When did the Sumerians get started? About the same time as the first Pharaohs were coming to power in Egypt, around 3100 BC, a group of people we call the Sumerians were living in Mesopotamia. Old Kingdom Egypt Sumerian architecture  All our Mesopotamia articles Where is [...]

West Asian economy – the Bronze Age

By |2019-02-23T20:18:28-07:00September 12th, 2017|Economy, West Asia|

West Asian economy: Bronze Age tin ingots from a shipwreck near Haifa Trading for tin When people first began to use bronze, about 3000 BC, they had to trade a lot more than they had before, because they needed tin to make the bronze. You don't find tin just anywhere. What is bronze? Bronze Age timeline All [...]

West Asian clothing – Mesopotamia and Iran

By |2018-04-18T21:28:30-07:00September 11th, 2017|Clothing, West Asia|

Tel Asmar, ca. 3000 BC Most likely people were already wearing clothing about 60,000 years ago when they first walked or sailed out of Africa to West Asia. Clothing must have been invented about this time because genetic mutations show that's about how long ago body lice evolved from head lice, and body lice can only live on clothing. [...]

Sumerian architecture – Mesopotamia

By |2018-05-21T09:04:25-07:00September 11th, 2017|Architecture, West Asia|

Sumerian architecture: the ziggurat at Warka (reconstructed by Saddam Hussein) Mud-brick and brick Like other people around the world, the Sumerians started to build big temples on artificial platforms around 3500 BC. They were living in the area between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. in what is now Iraq. Because there's practically no building stone in this [...]

Science and the gods – History of Science

By |2017-09-06T12:54:33-07:00September 6th, 2017|History|

The Egyptian god Bes Gods are part of people's desire to know how the world works. It's one of the ways that people explain how the world works. People say that God or the gods make this happen. Or you could say that the gods are a way of talking about complicated things that happen. Maybe they're [...]

Multiculturalism project

By |2018-04-09T23:07:29-07:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

The priestess Meretites hugs her husband, the singer Kahai (Saqqara, Old Kingdom Egypt) The story of Abraham is one where Abraham meets people from different cultures - the Sumerians, who live in cities and use irrigation agriculture, the Egyptians, who might kill Abraham to get his beautiful wife Sarah, and the Canaanites, who sacrifice their own children. How would we [...]

Ancient philosophy: ethics, fate, and science

By |2018-04-24T11:55:01-07:00August 16th, 2017|Philosophy|

Weighing the souls of the dead Philosophy means the love of wisdom. But what does that mean? It's hard to separate philosophy from religion. And it's also hard to draw a line between philosophy and science and mathematics. All of these are parts of people's search to make order out of nature. They're a way of [...]

A day in Mesopotamia – food, costumes, activities

By |2018-04-07T17:04:22-07:00June 11th, 2017|Crafts, West Asia|

Molded bricks form an archer at ancient Susa, in Iran If you're a teacher, parent, or day camp counselor thinking of spending a week or so on ancient West Asia (Mesopotamia and Persia), here's some ideas other people have found useful: Clothes: For boys, as in the picture, a long colorful tunic down [...]