Image of Sumerian Ziggurat

All about Sumeria

Most people know the ancient world as Romans, Greeks and Egyptians. But were did they get inspiration and where did they learn from? Sumeria gave us so much of what we today consider the basis of civilisation - the first proper writing system, the wheel, the first empire and much more. This website aims to give you an idea of what Sumeria was and why it is relevant, and allows you to dig even deeper if you are interested.

Geography of Sumeria


Sumeria is deeply linked to its geography. The hot dry climate by the rivers Tigris and Euphrates forced its inhabitants to organise themselves to build irrigation canals. Read more about the Sumerian geography.

Geography of Sumeria


Sumeria spans thousands of years of history. Learn about how archeology helps us understand this period, read about Sumeria by time period or track a city, kingdom or empire through the ages.

Geography of Sumeria


We can learn a lot about a people and its stories by their objects. What were the objects used by the ancient Sumerians? We can look at different types of objects: personal, city, war, trade and writing artifacts.

Geography of Sumeria


Who were the people that lived by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers between 3500 BCE and 1000 BCE? They can be split into the rulers and kings, and the common people. In addition, heroes and gods also feature for Sumerians.

Geography of Sumeria


Sumeria gave us the beginnings of a number of the abstract ideas we value today. They started a number of sciences (60 minutes in an hour comes from them). They were the first to develop a number of ideas domains.

Geography of Sumeria


Religion was a very important aspect of life in old Mesopotamia. Their gods were linked to a city or to nature, and temples in cities were an important part of life.

Geography of Sumeria


Sumerians invented writing, using the famous cuneiform writing system. We have an astonishing number of clay tablets preserved from Sumeria, which allow us to recreate much of their way of thinking.

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tamarisk tree

Trees in Sumeria

It is easy to think of Sumeria as a barren land, only kept alive by irrigation canals. In addition to irrigated trees such as date palms, we also find interesting flora such as the tamarisk, juniper and cedar.

Geography of Sumeria

The Lion Hunt

If you have visited the Sumerian section of the British Museum, chances are you have seen the Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal. It is a series of very impressive wall coverings illustrating the King Ashurbanipal's prowess.

Geography of Sumeria

The game of Ur

Possibly the oldest board game in existence, and surely the oldest we have rules for, the Game of Ur is a fascinating predecessor to Backgammon. Watch a video on how to play it, and see the original at British Museum.