Sumerian Achievements S O C I A L S T U D I E S F O R 8 TH E . G . B . TEACHER: MAURICIO TORRES
Background Sumerians were not just advanced in government and religion issues; they also developed many other things, that are part of our daily life today.
Writing Maybe the most important development in human History. They developed cuneiform, the world’s first writing system. They used sharp tools called styluses to make symbols on clay tablets.
Elements of Writing Pictographs used to be the way humans kept “written” records. They were picture symbols. In cuneiform, they added representations of syllables, in that way, it enriched writing. Scribes, were specialized people that were hired to write. The first stories were written, they were called Epics. Long poems that tell stories of heroes: The Epic of Gilgamesh
Technical Advances The Wheel. They were the first to build wheeled vehicles. They also created a device that spins clay, so that a craftsperson can shape it: potter’s wheel. The Plow Pulled by oxen, the plows broke through the soil to prepare it for farming. Water Clock
Math & Sciences Math system based on the number 60 That is why we divide the circle into 360º Dividing the year into 12 months. Geometry Studied the natural world Inventories of names of thousands of plants, animals and minerals. Medicine Ingredients from plants, animals and minerals to produce healing drugs. They even catalogued treatments and symptoms!
Architechture Architecture The science of building. People lived in small one story houses, made of mud bricks. Rulers lived in large palaces. Temples were the largest and most impressive buildings: they were called, ziggurats. They were pyramid shaped temple towers.
Arts Sumerian sculptors produced many statues of gods. They used wood, ivory and pottery. Their pottery was really bad! Jewelry They used gold, silver and gems. Cylinder Seals They were small stone cylinder engraved with works of art. Music Reed pipes, drums, tambourines and lyres.
Ask Yourself Recall: What was the center of most Sumerian cities? What was one of the most important technical development of Sumer? Summarize: What different types of art did the Sumerians create? Describe: What Sumerian advance in mathematics do we use everyday when we look at the calendar? How did Sumerians write? Draw Conclusions: How was cuneiform used to express complex ideas?
Extra Task #1 Find out the meaning of all the words in this slide show, that are in this color. Search for their meaning, in order to be better prepared for your test!
Extra Task #2 Get some clay! Use a stick or something similar as a stylus. Draw some pictographs and try to write a sentence! Bring it to school and show it to your friends, and have them try to guess what it means. Involve your parents and ask them to help you out!
Bibliography Burstein, S. M., & Shek, R. (2012). World History (Teacher´s Edition) (1st Edition ed.). (H. McDougal, Ed.) Orlando, Florida, US.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Images taken from Google and “Ancient Mesopotamia for Kids” http://mesopotamia.mrdonn.org/.