Sumer & Mesopotamia

Where is Sumer? Why is it important? The Ancient Sumerians are said to have founded the first urban civilisation in southern Mesopotamia (modern Iraq and Kuwait) and provide some of the earliest examples of writing and trade. In this section you will find podcasts, articles and resources to develop your knowledge of this ancient civilisation.

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  • ‘Miss, did the Romans build pyramids?’

    Article

    Read more like this: Comparing Ancient Civilisations - scheme of work Romans, Anglo-Saxons & Vikings lessons Teaching Ancient Egypt The Maya - scheme of work Miss, did the Romans build pyramids? No Johnny, I think you are confusing the Romans with the Egyptians. Actually, Miss, the Romans did build pyramids...

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  • Scheme of Work: Comparing Ancient Civilisations

    Article

    What do all the Ancient Civilisations have in common? This enquiry provides an overview of the Ancient Civilisations of Egypt, Sumer, Indus Valley and Shang, showing where and when they developed, the similarities between them and how they relate to a broadly based chronological understanding of the past. It provides a...

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  • Scheme of Work: Ancient Sumer

    Article

    Ancient Sumer is often called 'the Cradle of Civilisation.' The Ancient Greeks called it Mesopotamia - the land between two rivers. It is where cities first developed, agriculture began and writing first appeared. One eminent historian records 39 'firsts' for Sumer! Most of this was lost until the 20th century,...

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  • So was everyone an ancient Egyptian?

    Article

    I will be honest – no child has actually asked me if the world was ever full of Ancient Egyptians! Having said that, by focusing on one part of the world, children are left with either this impression or the idea that nothing was happening elsewhere in the world. Clearly,...

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  • Ancient Sumer

    Article

    For many teachers and children alike, Ancient Sumer will be completely new. Although Sumer has always been an option for teaching about Early Civilisations, the fame of Ancient Egypt, as well as being a tried-and-tested topic, has meant that Sumer has perhaps been overlooked. There is little danger of failing...

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  • Teaching the Assyrians for KS2

    Article

    Assyria was one of the Great Powers of the Ancient World. (They have vbeen called the 'Romans of the East'.) From the early ninth to the lat seventh century BC they played an important part in history. At the heigh of their power the Assyrians controlled a vast area from...

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  • Mesopotamia: Making a picture of Mesopotamia in our heads

    Article

    IntroductionWorking in a small rural primary school in North Gloucestershire I was inspired by national news reports from Iraq to change the focus of our Ancient History study from Ancient Egypt to Mesopotamia, ‘the land between the rivers'. A study of this region of the Middle East fulfilled so many...

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  • Diagrams in History

    Article

    One of the gifts of the social sciences to history is the use of expository diagrams; but attention is rarely given to the history of diagrams. Maps - schematized representations of locations in spatial relation to one another - can be dated back to Babylonia in the late third millennium...

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  • Sumerian history through story-telling and expressive movement

    Article

    The Sumerian mystery lesson is based on a story about what people found in one of the royal tombs of Ur dating from about 4000 years ago. (This was in ancient Mesopotamia, near what we now call the Persian Gulf.) (These resources are attached below) The story is full of...

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