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The rise and fall of history’s first empire - Soraya Field Fiorio


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History’s first empire rose out of a hot, dry landscape, without rainfall to nourish crops, without trees or stones for building. In spite of all this, its inhabitants built the world’s first cities, with monumental architecture and large populations— and they built them entirely out of mud. Soraya Field Fiorio details the rise and fall of the Sumerian empire.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Sumer was the world’s first known empire, and the site of the first cities and social hierarchies. Despite its legacy being lost to history for over two thousand years, many aspects of Sumerian culture are still with us. Can you identify modern inventions or ideas that have roots in ancient Sumer?

The following books are excellent resources for anyone looking to learning more about Sumer and the ancient Near East.

Sumer and the Sumerians:
Harriet Crawford, Sumer and the Sumerians
Harriet Crawford, Editor, The Sumerian World
Samuel Noah Kramer, History Begins at Sumer
Samuel Noah Kramer, The Sumerians
J. Nicholas Postgate, Early Mesopotamia: Society and Economy at the Dawn of History

General history of the ancient Near East:
Mario Liverani, Ancient Near East: History, Society and Economy
Marc Van De Mieroop, A History of the Ancient Near East, ca. 3000-323BC

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Soraya Field Fiorio
  • Director Tomás Pichardo-Espaillat
  • Narrator Susan Zimmerman
  • Sound Designer Cem Misirlioglu, Mikey Coltun
  • Music Cem Misirlioglu, Mikey Coltun
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Fact-Checker Joseph Isaac

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