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Book: First Civilizations

Chapter: 3 The Early Dynastic period and the formation of the first city-states

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.18655


Picking up from the previous chapter dealing with the origins and ramifications of the agricultural 'revolution', this chapter looks closely at activity in the southern end of the Tigris-Euphrates valley at around 3100 BC and explores the Sumerians who have become identified with this region. Topics discussed:

- the city-state

- the early dynastic periods

- ruling families

- the 'great flood'

- urban development in the north

- the Elamites

- Sumerian archaeology

- The royal tombs of Ur

- musical instruments

- the Standard of Ur

- ideas about death and the afterlife (eschatology)


Chapter Contributors

  • Robert Chadwick ( - book-auth-70) 'Bishop's University'