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3,500BC Sumerians and Babylonians
use sexigesimal (base 60) number system according to historian Eric
3,450 The first cities appeared
along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates just north of what is
now the Persian Gulf. The cities made up the Uruk culture named
after the principal city of Uruk, which corresponds to the Biblical
Erech. The culture invented writing, the lunar calendar, used metal
and built monumental architecture. The cities remained independent
for almost a thousand years.
3,300 Around this time the
inhabitants of Sumer in present day Iraq adopted the practice of
storing tokens in sealed clay jars. The tokens represented the
counts of foodstuffs, livestock , and land. The stored tokens
provided a more permanent record but required that jars be broken in
order to examine the record. Then someone hit on the idea of making
marks in the soft clay covers of the jars to represent the tokens
inside. Archeological evidence shows that the marked jars led almost
immediately to a system of marks on clay tablets.
(I&I, Penzias, p.42)
3,300 Archaic cylinder seals
[of Sumeria] of this time were later collected by financier Pierpont
(SFC, 2/15/97, p.D1)
3,200BC Archeological evidence indicates that the
Sumerians used wheeled transportation.
3,200 The Sumerians developed
pictographic writing about this time.
(SFEC, 11/14/99, p.A6)
3100BC Writing was related to Sumerian language.
2700BC The Sumerian King, Gilgamesh, ruled the
city of Uruk which had grown to a population of over 50,000.
Gilgamesh was the subject of many epics, including the Sumerian
Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Nether World and the Babylonian Epic
2320BC Sargon conquered the independent
city-states of Sumer and instituted a central government.
2300BC Sumerian cuneiform texts mention the land
of Magan (possibly Oman) as a source of copper and diorite for the
states of Mesopotamia.
(AM, May/Jun 97 p.49)
2,200 In what is now Bahrain
settlements and temples of the city state of Dilmun, known as the
city of the gods in ancient Sumerian literature, were found by
Danish archaeologists in the 1950s.
(AM, May/Jun 97 p.48)
2113BCE Ur's golden century began when King
Ur-Nammu expanded the Sumerian empire and made his capital the
wealthiest city in Mesopotamia.
2100BC The Sumerian King List was written. It
recorded all the kings and dynasties ruling Sumer from the earliest
times. Eridu was named as the earliest settlement and archeological
evidence seems to confirm the claim.
c2000BC The goddess Inanna was a fertility figure.
(SFEC, 9/27/98, BR p.7)
2000-1600BC In Mesopotamia the Old Babylonian
period began after the collapse of Sumer, probably due to an
increase in the salt content of the soil that made farming
difficult. Weakened by poor crops and lack of surplus goods, the
Sumerians were conquered by the Amorites, situated in Babylon. The
center of civility shifted north. The Amorites preserved much of the
Sumerian culture but introduced their own Semitic language, an early
ancestor to Hebrew, into the region.
c1900BC The Epic of Gilgamesh was redacted from
Sumerian sources written in the Babylonian semetic. The legend was
written about 1,600 BC.
(eawc, p.3)(SFC, 11/18/99, p.C6)
1900-1500 During this period a semetic group of
nomads migrated from Sumer to Canaan and then on to Egypt. They were
led by a caravan trader, the Patriarch Abraham, who became the
father of the nation of Israel.
1763 Hammurabi, the Amorite
King, conquered all of Sumer. He wrote a Code of Laws that
contained 282 rules including the principles of an eye for an eye
and let the buyer beware. It was one of the first codes of law in
world history, predated only by the Laws of Lipit-Ishtar.
1400 Sumerian writing remained
pictographic until about this time.
(SFEC, 11/14/99, p.A6)
Subject = Sumeria
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