Ancient Sumer
Sumerian writing was called cuneiform.

Ancient Sumer

One of the topics covered by KS2 history is the Ancient Sumerians, or Ubaidians, who lived in Mesopotamia between c. 5000 BC and c. 1940 BC.

The Ancient Sumerians were Ubaidians who lived in Mesopotamia around 5,000 years ago. The Ubaidians were the first civilised society in Sumer. They drained the marshes to grow crops, developed trade, and established industries like weaving, leatherwork, metalwork, masonry and pottery. They were very successful farmers which meant that their population expanded and they were able to support specialist artists and craftsmen - something very rare in other civilisations of the time. In the 20th Century BC the Sumerians were conquered by the Amorites and their once great civilisation came to an end.

Play this quiz and find out what you know about the civilisation of the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia.

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  1. Where did the Ancient Sumerians live?
    Mesopotamia was in modern day Iraq
  2. What was the story that the Sumerians wrote down?
    Gilgameshwas a legendary king of Uruk in Mesopotamia, who lived sometime between 2800 and 2500 BC
  3. What was the name of the city excavated by the British archaeologist Woolley?
    Woolley excavated the site of Ur from 1922 to1934. The city was founded in 3800 BC and abandoned 3,300 years later
  4. What was a ziggurat?
    The ziggurat was usually built in the centre of the city
  5. What type of game was found at Ur?
    The game is thought to be an ancestor of the modern game backgammon
  6. What was the name of the Sumerian writing?
    Cuneiform was first used around 3000 BC. It is one of the oldest systems of writing
  7. What were Sumerian homes built of?
    The houses were two or three storeys high with flat roofs
  8. What did the Sumerians first use to make records?
    These hieroglyphs evolved into writing over time
  9. What were the people who could write called?
    Scribes were first used for keeping records. They then went on to write down stories
  10. Who did Sumerians believe were controlling their lives?
    They had hundreds of gods

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