Contributions To Civilization: The Sumerians, Hebrews, And Egyptians

1490 words - 6 pages

Some of the world’s greatest civilizations have advanced and prospered next to the protective embrace of some of the world’s greatest rivers. The Sumerians, Hebrews, and Egyptians all prospered from the great rivers which their mighty civilizations once resided by, earning them the title of river valley civilizations. These now extinct societies were the first true civilizations of the ancient world. These civilizations prospered thanks to their riverine environments and as a result of this prosperity were able to advance skills, pursue knowledge, and develop culture. Ancient cultures such as the Sumerians, Hebrews, and Egyptians made a variety of contributions to civilization, some of which can still be seen to this very day.
The Sumerians, an ancient civilization nestled in between the great Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, made a variety of contributions to civilization. From advancements in literature, government, law, education, and agriculture the contributions of this once great society have a profound effect on our society even today. Possibly one of the greatest Sumerian contributions to civilization today, the invention of writing, has proven to be an irreplaceable component to the advancement of civilization in both the past and the present. The following excerpt from an article compiled by The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago describes the significance of this Sumerian development, “The invention of writing was the dawn of the information revolution. This great technological advance allowed news and ideas to be carried to distant places without having to rely on a messenger's memory” (“Ancient Mesopotamia”). Thanks to the Sumerian’s invention of writing ancient civilizations and today’s society can retain vast amounts of information, without which many advancements could not possibly have been made. Sumerians also contributed to civilization through their invention of law. The idea of law is accredited to the Babylonian king Hammurabi and his pioneering set of laws, Hammurabi’s Code. The following excerpt from The Humanistic Tradition describes the importance of Hammurabi’s Code and its effects on the development of the idea of law, “Written law represented a landmark advance in the development of human rights in that it protected the individual from the capricious decisions of monarchs” (Fiero 26). Although it is thought that Hammurabi was not the first to have utilized law, his collection of laws engraved on a 7-foot-tall monolith has immortalized his place in history as the creator of law. Hammurabi’s landmark ideas involving law can still be seen in today’s justice systems. The Sumerian’s groundbreaking developments in writing and law have had lasting effects on the civilization of both past and present but other ancient civilizations such as the Hebrews have made numerous contributions to civilization.
The Hebrews, a group of tribal people believed to have originated from an area near Sumer, made a...

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