ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Sumerian Civilization

Updated on September 12, 2017

Sumer: The First Civilization

Normally when you think of great and influential ancient civilizations, Egypt is at the top of your list. Yes, Egypt was an influential civilization, the Egyptians gave us the idea of using papyrus to make paper, which was an essential part of all societies up until recent life-changing technological discoveries. Egypt was a society of “classes” that gave lower class people the ability to move up in society, Joseph from the Bible is a great example of this, and this “advancement” in society is what shapes the United States of America as we know it, thus the American dream. Egypt even gave us hieroglyphics, which would inevitably lead to our society’s obsession with emojis and our lack of using words. That being said, the Sumerian civilization was, and still is, the most influential civilization on society.

Sumer is believed by historians to be one of the first civilizations, if not the first. As one of the first civilizations, all empires and/or civilizations that follow after will undoubtedly already be influenced in some way by the initial civilization. For example, cuneiform, the earliest known form of writing, was invented by the Sumerians, and was known to be adopted by the Amorites, the Hittites, the Assyrians, and the Persians. Those four civilizations accomplished much and are known for contributing greatly to astronomy, astrology, iron production, government, and storytelling, but how much would they have contributed to any age of society without writing? How would they have passed down their discoveries and ideas without them being twisted and changed through speech?

A cuneiform-written account of barley rations
A cuneiform-written account of barley rations | Source

The Sumerians were very skilled and technologically advanced for their day in age. The wheel is arguably the greatest Sumerian invention, for obvious reasons. When was the last time you went one day without seeing at least a couple hundred cars? Can you imagine how life would be if the wheel was never invented? No cars, buggies, chariots, or bikes would ever have existed, even planes, with the exception of water planes, require wheels for a comfortable and safe landing, as well as giving the ability to take off. We would be riding horses practically everywhere we went, that is if we could even afford them.

Let me raise the question again, when was the last time you went a day without seeing at least a couple hundred cars? Well how long is a day exactly? How many hours? Minutes? Seconds? The division of hours and minutes into sixty units was also developed by the Sumerian culture. It is hard to think about how different life would be if this division was never thought of and put into practice. Our society’s lowest unit of measurement of time would be an hour. This could potentially change things drastically within our culture. Practically every estimate we give in a particular instance would be either rounding up or rounding down, rather than giving the exact time allotment.

The Sumer culture also gave us the division of a circle into three-hundred and sixty degrees. Imagine how different math and science would be without this division. Math particularly would have hundreds, if not thousands of unanswerable questions. Geometry, as we know it, would cease to exist, if any students read this, they would immediately despise the Sumerians for this treachery. Sumerian building techniques were also adopted by the Romans, most famously the arch. And what would St. Louis be without its Gateway Arch? It would be home to nothing but the nation’s worst baseball team.

But if you ask any pastor, who is historically educated, what Sumer’s most impactful aspect to arise out of it is, he will tell you Abraham. Abraham was from Ur, a city-state in the Mesopotamian-Sumerian area. God called Abraham out of Ur and away from his normal way of life. Abraham was a nobody, until God called him to be more, and Abraham delivered, thus becoming known as the father of faith. He was also the father of the Covenant, which created a special bond between the Jews and God. And of course, Abraham had many sons, and many sons had father Abraham.

In conclusion, after looking at all the facts, there can’t possibly be a civilization from this chapter, (check works cited), that has had a larger impact on society, then or now, than the Sumerians. You can’t argue with being responsible for the first known form of writing, the creation of the wheel, the division of sixty units, the division of a circle, Roman architecture, and Abraham. You just can't. Though the Egyptians can put up a nice fight with their emojis.

Works Cited

Abrams, Carl, et al. "Mesopotamia." World History, vol. 3rd, BJU Press, 2007, pp. 29-31.

Did you find this article helpful or informative?

See results

© 2017 Caleb Wilmoth


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)