Image of Sumerian landscape

Early Dynastic Period

The Early Dynastic period was the time between about 2900-2350 BCE in Mesopotamia. It follow the Jemdet Nasr period, as was supplanted by the Akkadian period. During this period, multiple city states grew strong, such as Uruk, Ur, Lagash, Umma and Nippur in lower Mesopotamia and Kish, Mari, Nagar and Ebla to the north.


The most famous story from Sumeria is the Epic of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh was a mytical hero with superhuman abilities in the story, but the story is based on a real ruler named Gilgamesh who lived during the Early Dynastic Period.

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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.