One of the earliest known civilisations in the world, the people of Ancient Sumer inhabited a region of southern Mesopotamia that extended up from the Persian Gulf into the fertile Tigris and Euphrates valleys, modern day Iraq and Kuwait. They populated part of the so-called Fertile Crescent, from around 4500 BC until an invasion by the neighbouring Elamites around 2000 BC. The fertility of these valleys allowed the Sumerians to grow an abundance of crops, creating a surplus that allowed for the creation of non-food-gathering roles, such as artists and artisans. The Sumerians are notable for a number of reasons; they created the oldest known writing system, known as cuneiform, the wheel, early mathematics, law and literature, and were some of the first brewers of beer.
To discover more about the ancient Sumerians, please visit our relevant blog post: Ancient Sumer and its Art.