- The History and Legacy of the Ancient World's First Major City
- Narrated by: Ken Teutsch
- Length: 1 hr and 26 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 10-19-16
- Language: English
- Publisher: Charles River Editors
Regular price: $6.95
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Although the Sumerians continue to get second or even third billing compared to the Babylonians and Assyrians, perhaps because they never built an empire as great as the Assyrians or established a city as enduring and great as Babylon, they were the people who provided the template of civilization that all later Mesopotamians built upon. The Sumerians are credited with being the first people to invent writing, libraries, cities, and schools in Mesopotamia, and many would argue that they were the first people to create and do those things anywhere in world.
For a people so great it is unfortunate that their accomplishments and contributions, not only to Mesopotamian civilization but to civilization in general, largely go unnoticed by the majority of the public. Perhaps the Sumerians were victims of their own success; they gradually entered the historical record, established a fine civilization, and then slowly submerged into the cultural patchwork of their surroundings. They also never suffered a great and sudden collapse like other peoples of the ancient Near East, such as the Hittites, Assyrians and Neo-Babylonians did. A close examination of Sumerian culture and chronology reveals that the Sumerians set the cultural tone in Mesopotamia for several centuries in the realms of politics/governments, arts, literature, and religion. The Sumerians were truly a great people whose legacy continued long after they were gone.
No site better represents the importance of the Sumerians than the city of Uruk. Between the fourth and the third millennium BCE, Uruk was one of several city-states in the land of Sumer, located in the southern end of the Fertile Crescent, between the two great rivers of the Tigris and the Euphrates. Discovered in the late 19th century by the British archaeologist William Loftus, it is this site that has revealed much of what is now known of the Sumerian, Akkadian, and Neo-Sumerian people.
Although Uruk was not the only city that the Sumerians built during the Uruk period, it was by far the greatest and also the source of most of the archeological and written evidence concerning early Sumerian culture. Uruk went from being the world’s first city to the most important political and cultural center in the ancient Near East in relatively quick fashion. Around 3200 BCE, the Sumerian Uruk culture began to expand beyond the borders of Sumer, which coincided with the emergence of writing. The form of writing that the Sumerians developed became known by its Greek name, cuneiform for the wedge style characters that it employed. Writing, like many other inventions throughout world history, appears to have been created because of necessity as the Uruk culture grew.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anonymous User on 07-26-17
What made the experience of listening to Uruk the most enjoyable?
Would you be willing to try another book from Charles River Editors? Why or why not?
Not after reading this one and comparing it to The Sumerians by the same authors. There was too much overlap and repetitiveness for my taste as I expected to get a very in depth look at Uruk, not of Sumerian civilization as a whole. Secondarily, this book was very uninformative and not particularly scholarly. I was hoping for a much more detailed account of Uruk's history than the few lines contained in this book.
Which character – as performed by Ken Teutsch – was your favorite?
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?