The Sumerian Great Legacies
1. Writing: The first letter in history was written in Sumer as a pictograms (simplified pictures on clay tablets), gradually they created the Cuneiform writing which contains phonetic & syllabic, elements providing a flexible way of communication. Through writing, the Sumerians were able to pass on knowlege & exprience to successive generations; this led to marked improvements in agricultural production & science advancment.
2. Literatures: Recording of poetry, epics, events & history was started by the Sumerians. The famous Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh has survived in almost the complete form. Laden with complex abstractions & emotional expressions, the epic of Gilgamesh reflects the intellectual sophistication of the Sumerians, & it has served as the prototype for all Near Eastern inundation stories.
3. Religion: The precariousness of existence in southern Mesopotamia led to a highly developed sense of religion. Cult centers like Eridu, 5000 B.C., served as important centers of pilgrimage & devotion. These cult centers emerged in most Sumerian cities, thus reinforcing the close relationship between communities & people with important political aspects. A powerful priesthood emerged to oversee ritual practices.
The priests ruled from the temples, (ziggurats) which were essentially artificial mountains of sun-baked brick, built with outside staircases that tapered toward a shrine at the top.
4. Civil Rules: Sumerian considered that all properties belong to God & land rentals, agricultural questions, trade, commercial relations, & war were determined by law. Unlike Egypt where Pharaoh used to own every thing including the people & properties as the living God, in Sumer the Royalty were no difference from the people & they are questionable by them. The Summerian used to believe in private property & any one including the Royalty may bargain for their own goods. The Sumerian society was a "Matriarchal" & women had a highly respected place in the community.
5. The Math system: The Sumerian care for the wellbeing of the community led to close observation of the scientific phenomena which led to innovation of the basic unit of calculation & numbers. They developed a math system based on the numeral (60) which is the basis of time in the modern world.
Math clay from Summer
6. Time scale: The concept of minutes & hour is Sumerian innovation. The first human calnder was the Sumerian Calnder.
7. Agricultural system: The first land cultivated by a man was here in the South of Iraq. The Sumerians then developed a highly advanced agricultural system with refined irrigation & water-control systems which was spread to the near & far neighboring countries by the invented Sumerian writing.
8. City plans: In Sumer emerged for the first time city planning before building the cities. With advancement of this the Sumerian who lack stones built bricks & achieved marked advancement in the technologies of making bricks. They also the first to use these bricks for roads. Their big cities like Uruk, Eridu, Kish, Lagash, Agade, Akshak, Larsa, & Ur attracting many immigrant who are looking for more settled & prosperous life to go there. Ur was the birth place of Prophet Abraham (PUH) who is the Grand father of Prophet Mohammad (PUH).
9. The Wheel & Bronze: Both were innovated by the Sumerian 3700 B.C & led to advancement in war & technology. They discovered that when Tin melted with Copper it produce Bronze which is stronger & on the same time more durable. The first war was fought there & since then may wars happened a long it history.
10. Role of peace: Sargon 2334 BC, was the first king to send his troops as far as to Egypt & Ethiopia to unify the unsettled areas who used to fight for lands & water & to introduce law & prosperity by creating mass jobs for the people with large mobilization of laborer. Sargon created the first empire in the history. Wars then started to get more so often for the wealth of this region. With civilization law & roles get more advanced but the first written & well documented law was established by Hammurabi the King of Babylon to the North of Sumer.
11. Administrative structure: This was innovated by Hammurabi to the North of Sumer (Babylon) but he later ruled over Sumer as well. It was the first complete written structure for civil life in the human history called the Cod of Law.
12. Banking activities: Banking originated in Mesopotamia in Babylon first temples then palaces provided a safe place for the storage of valuables. Initially deposits of grain were accepted & later other goods including cattle, agricultural implements, then precious metals.
Wet Scales from Sumer
Sumer became the most prosperous region & the others start to battle it for the wealth like the Akkadians who are Semitic & migrated up from the Arabian Peninsula. When the two peoples clashed, the Sumerians gradually lost control over the city-states they had so brilliantly created and fell under the hegemony of the Akkadian kingdom, which was based in Akkad (Sumerian Agade). This great capital of the largest empire humans had ever seen up until that point that was later to become Babylon, which was the commercial and cultural center of the Middle East for almost two thousand years.
In 2125 BC, the Sumerian city of Ur in southern Mesopotamia rose up in revolt, & the Akkadian empire fell before a renewal of Sumerian city-states.
A dramatic growth in science & mathematics were then set up, like the great mathematical inventions of the division of the circle into 360 degrees and were among the first to invent longitude and latitude in geographical navigation by the Assyrians. The Mesopotamians also developed a sophisticated medical science, which greatly influenced medical science everywhere. They invented the first medical law which regulated for the first time in man history the practice of medicine & the responsibility of the practitioners for their own mistakes toward the patients & society. Hammurabi's law was the first to put rules of who should and how should medicine practiced.