Writing was used by the Sumer in many ways. Scribes used it to record laws made by government. the Sumer also created languages. One language was CUNEIFORM. Cuneiform is latin for "wedge" that the language is written with. Writers from Sumer make this language by writing with a sharp wedge-shaped tool engraving into clay or stone. Another language is pictographs. Pictographs were made with a sharpened reed on wet clay. Pictographs were shapes of animals and symbols that represented real objects.
The Sumer had a lot of technology to help them through daily life. For example, they used the wheel. The wheel moved objects without getting stuck or broken. The wheel was inspired by the pottery wheel that turned the clay as it was shaped. Before the wheel, the Sumer had SLEDGES. Sledges are boards that are dragged on the ground by oxen or cows. Another invention was the plow. The plow was pulled on wheels by cows or oxen to make holes for seeds.
Arts such as metalworking, music and artwork were very important to the Sumer. Often, songs may honour gods for religion or important events in Sumer's history. Today, these arts are used to find out what happened to the Sumer and what challenges they faced. One instrument the Sumer people used was a LYRE. In the picture the girl to the left is holding a lyre. A lyre is a stringed instrument that is similar to a harp.
The Sumers used plows to help them grow their crops. This invention is pulled by mules or cows to make holes for their seeds. The plow was very important to the Sumer because it made less work for humans. Also, the Sumer water system is made up of dams, canals, and reservoirs. By maintaining this system, the Sumer had fresh water from the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. However, this system was hard to maintain and put work on the people who live near the rivers to unclog the silt-clogged system.
Why are you writing Sumerian laws?!
Here in Sumer, jobs and social levels made Sumer a civilization. Sumer's top level of people were priests, Kings, and government officials. Government officials made laws, priests shared religious beliefs and kings were born with the power of control over Sumer. The government of Sumer was run by men born into a family bloodline of that job they had. If you were in the family bloodline to inherit a job from your parent, you could not back out of that job. The second level was people who made or sold things, like merchants or Artists. The lowest level was slaves or people who worked for merchants. Also, SCRIBES were people who recorded information with a written alphabet. scr were often in the top or middle social level.
Religion was very important to the Sumer. Priests were at the top social level because of their education on religion, and all of the kings were "chosen by God" to rule over the Sumer civilization. Often, priests taught religion in tall temples called ZIGGURATS. One of the king's jobs was to maintain these huge temples. Some ziggurats were 7 stories high and 200 feet wide! Most Sumerians believed that the gods lived in the temples they built. Usually the kings and priests would pray in these temples for the god's blessing. In all ziggurats there was even a long staircase to the top of the ziggurat for the gods.