Sumerian Myths. Sumerian civilization originated in what is now southern Iraq, just upriver from the mouths of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
"Civilization" in this context means a settled town or city-dwelling people who possess a stable agricultural technology (including domesticated animals) and have developed a hierarchical system of social classes (peasants, laborers, slaves, craftsmen [smiths, masons, carpenters, potters, etc.], farmers, fishermen, merchants, doctors, architects, priests and temple attendants, bureaucrats, scribes, advisers, priest-kings). Since the climate of southern Iraq is hot and dry, agriculture requires an extensive irrigation system of canals and dikes. Often, the Sumerians wrote as if their civilization (agricultural techniques, cities, classes of people) came first, and people later.
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