Civilizations of the fertlile Crescent

Essay by yvj01 May 2005

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The city states that developed along the rivers of southern Mesopotamian between 3500 B.C.E and 2400 B.C.E are known together as Sumer , The citizens of the city whose origins are unknown migrated from the north. Sumerians are credited with many inventions such as the wagon wheel and plow, casting objects in copper and bronze, and created a system of writing although writing was also being developed in Egypt at time.

Sumerians pressed wedge shaped symbols called Cuneiform symbols into clay tablets using writing sticks called stylus to keep bank records. The Sumerians had impressive buildings called Ziggurats, which were stepped pyramid structures with a temple or shrine at the top. Ziggurats proclaimed the wealth and power of city rulers and glorified the gods. They were given "House of the Mountain" and "Bond between Heaven and Earth". Ziggurats had exteriors decorated mosaics images made by small colored pieces fixed to hard surfaces.

Urk now known as Iraq, was the first independent Sumerian city-State and had two large temples complexes, one was dedicated to Inanna the goddess of love and war, the other most likely to the sky god Anu. The Anu ziggurat ultimately rose to 40 feet. Around 3100 B.C.E a brick temple was created that is know as the White Temple. The structure was a simple rectangular oriented to the points on the compass. An off center doorway led into a large chamber containing a raised and altar smaller spaces opened off the main chamber. Interiors wall in both the Inanna and the Anu compounds were cone mosaics a decoration invented by Sumerians. Sculptures were associated by religion and large statues were commonly found in temples. A striking lifelike image may represent a goddess. Eastern sculptors of the time told their stories with great economy and clarity by...