Category: Ancient Civilizations

Authorities do not all agree about the definition of civilization. Most accept the view that “a civilization is a culture which has attained a degree of complexity usually characterized by urban life.” In other words, a civilization is a culture capable of sustaining a substantial number of specialists to cope with the economic, social, political, and religious needs of a populous society. Other characteristics usually present in a civilization include a system of writing to keep records, monumental architecture in place of simple buildings, and an art that is no longer merely decorative, like that on Neolithic pottery, but representative of people and their activities. All these characteristics of civilization first appeared in Mesopotamia.

Enki, A Sumerian High God

‘Enki and the World Order’ is one of the longest and best preserved of the extant Sumerian narrative poems. The poem begins with a hymn of praise addressed to Enki; some of it is destroyed and unintelligible, but generally speaking,

The Epic of Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh: Tablet 1 The one who saw all [Sha nagba imuru ]I will declare to the world, The one who knew all I will tell about [line missing] He saw the great Mystery, he knew the Hidden: He recovered the knowledge

Sumerian Legal Contracts

Contract for the Sale of a Slave, Reign of Rim-Sin, c. 2300 B.C. In this transaction the sellers simply guarantee to make no further claim upon the slave. It dates from about 2300 B.C., and is interesting as an index

Sumerian Literature – Advice about Farming

Ud-ul-uru (Old man cultivator) gave advice to his son: When you have to prepare a field, inspect the levees, canals and mounds that have to be opened. When you let the flood water into the field, this water should not

Sumerian Legend of Creation ENUMA ELISH

Sumerian Legend of Creation ENUMA ELISH When skies above were not yet named Nor earth below pronounced by name, Apsu, the first one, their begetter And maker Tiamat, who bore them all, Had mixed their waters together, But had not