The Sumerians were the people of southern Mesopotamia whose civilization flourished between c. 4100-1750 BCE. Their name comes from the region which is frequently – and incorrectly – referred to as a “country”. Sumer was never a cohesive political entity, however, but a region of city-states each with its own king.

More about: Sumerians


  • 6000 BCE - 1750 BCE
    Sumerian civilization in the Tigris-Euphrates valley.
  • c. 5400 BCE
    The City of Eridu is founded.
  • c. 5000 BCE
    Sumer inhabited by Ubaid people.
  • c. 5000 BCE - 4100 BCE
    The Ubaid Period in Sumer.
  • c. 5000 BCE
    Evidence of burial in Sumer.
  • c. 4500 BCE
    The City of Uruk founded.
  • c. 4500 BCE
    The Sumerians built their first temple.
  • 4100 BCE - 2900 BCE
    Uruk Period in Sumer.
  • c. 3600 BCE
    Invention of writing in Sumer at Uruk.
  • c. 3200 BCE
    First instance of written language in Sumerian.
  • 2900 BCE - 2334 BCE
    The Early Dynastic Period in Sumer.
  • c. 2500 BCE
    Beginning of literature in Sumerian.
  • 2350 BCE
    First code of laws by Urukagina, king of Lagash.
  • c. 2150 BCE - c. 1400 BCE
    The tales of Gilgamesh written which inform The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • 2047 BCE - 1750 BCE
    The Ur III Period in Sumer, known as the Sumerian Renaissance.
  • 2047 BCE - 1750 BCE
    The Ur III Period in Sumer. Great Wall of Uruk still standing.
  • c. 1772 BCE
    The Code of Hammurabi: One of the earliest codes of law in the world.
  • 1750 BCE
    Elamite invasion and Amorite migration ends the Sumerian civilization.