Instructional Goal: Students will know the chronological events associated with the Sumerian civilization.

  1. The Sumerian Civilization (C. 3500-1600 BC) was perhaps the first civilization.
    1. Sumerian people originally migrated from the Armenian region of the Black and Caspian Sea area.
    2. The early dynastic era developed around the delta area of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
    3. The oldest city founded was Eridu, which has been suggested as the site of the "Garden of Eden".
    4. Other city-states, including Ur, Lagash, Nippur and Kish also were founded around the same time.
    5. A priest-king who was originally elected by the people ruled Early city-states.
    6. Later, the ruler assumed his throne through a birthright.
    7. The early dynastic period ended C. 2600 BC when a destructive flood destroyed the Sumerian city-states.
    8. This has been suggested as the source of "Noah's flood".
  2. The source for most of our knowledge of the dynastic period came from the excavations of the city of Ur.
    1. Sir Leonard Wooley excavated Ur in the 1920's.
    2. City was dominated by a large step-pyramid known as a "Ziggurat".
    3. The ziggurat was made of sun-dried bricks and served as a religious and government center.
    4. Ur is also known as the home of the Biblical "Abraham".
  3. Akkad and Sumer were united after the flood C. 2350 BC.
    1. Sargon of Akkad consolidated the two areas.
    2. Considered the first great ruler of the world.
    3. Sargon ruled for 56 years.
    4. Led the conquest of most of the Mesopotamian river valley.
  4. Sargon's empire was overran by the Amorites (Babylonians) C. 2000 BC.
    1. Amorites swept down into Mesopotamia from Northern land of Nimrod (present-day upper Iraq).
    2. Hammurabi, also known as Amraphel in the O.T., (C. 1792-1750 BC) was the greatest of the Amorite kings.
    3. Hammurabi built the city of Babylon, which became the greatest city of the early ancient world.
    4. Hammurabi also wrote down a law code, which was among the first in history.

Assignment: Students will Read "The Laws of Hammurabi" and begin work on study guide.