What Does Sumer Mean in World History?

The Sumerian civilization is one of the earliest known civilizations in world history. Sumer is the ancient name for southern Mesopotamia, which is now modern-day Iraq. The Sumerians were a non-Semitic people who spoke a language called Sumerian.

The Birthplace of Civilization

Sumer was the birthplace of several fundamental institutions and inventions that have shaped human history. They were responsible for developing the first system of writing, which was known as cuneiform. This system used wedge-shaped marks on clay tablets to record information, including trade transactions, religious texts, and historical events.

The Sumerians were also responsible for developing the first organized religion in human history. They believed in multiple gods who controlled every aspect of life and death. Their religious practices included offerings, sacrifices, and elaborate ceremonies.

The Development of Agriculture

One of the most significant contributions made by the Sumerians was their development of agriculture. They were able to cultivate crops such as barley, wheat, and dates using irrigation systems that they built themselves. This allowed them to settle in one place and establish permanent settlements, leading to the rise of cities.

The Invention of the Wheel

The Sumerians also invented the wheel around 3500 BCE. The wheel revolutionized transportation as it allowed people to transport goods over long distances with ease. It also led to the development of chariots and other forms of wheeled vehicles.

The Legacy of Sumer

The legacy of Sumer can be seen in modern society through its impact on language, religion, law, and technology. Many words used in modern English are derived from Sumerian words such as “cylinder” and “calendar.” Additionally, many cultural traditions that we take for granted have roots in ancient Sumerian practices such as marriage ceremonies and funerals.


In conclusion, Sumer was a civilization that played a crucial role in shaping human history. Their inventions and innovations laid the foundation for modern society and their legacy can still be seen today. The Sumerians were truly ahead of their time, and their civilization will continue to inspire future generations for years to come.