The past millennia1)http://www.timemaps.com/history/iraq-3500bc has seen the Sumerians bring Mesopotamian civilization2)http://www.timemaps.com/civilization-ancient-mesopotamia to a high level. It has now expanded to the north, to what would later be the land of Assyria.
The Sumerians have now entered the Bronze Age. Bronze is used in the weapons and decorations of the ruling classes; it is far too expensive to be used by farmers, and agriculture basically remains at a stone-age level of technology. However, the demand for copper and tin, the ingredients of bronze, means that the Mesopotamian city-states now lie at the centre of an expanding network of long-distance trade routes.
Writing has reached a level of sophistication that makes it a vehicle, not only for administration, but also for the hymns, prayers and myths of the world’s most ancient literature.
The small Sumerian states are constantly at war with one another, and have developed the first organised armies in history, together with the systematic taxation and bureaucracies to support them. The economic life of these city-states is highly centralized on the temples. These own much of the land (or rather, their gods do), provide work for the craftsmen and labourers, administer the cities’ markets and organize long-distance trade.
ORIGINAL SOURCE: timemaps.com