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Sumerians and the Beginning of Civilization


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Ancient Mesopotamia and the Sumerians were the first to witness settlement. Man had ceased being a nomad and began raising cattle, farming and developing their skills at a fast pace. Perhaps the most number of discoveries and inventions ever made were in the ancient era of the Sumers. Ancient Sumerian clothing evolved and changed over the era as well.

Agriculture was initially relegated to the flax plant and rearing to sheep. Hence, came the first Sumerian clothing made of wool and flax stems. Earlier ancient Sumerian Clothing consisted of sheep skin worn directly on the body. With the advent of weaving and dyeing techniques, ancient Sumerian clothing style evolved to fabric covering the entire body. These were however worn with leaving the right shoulder and arm uncovered. Men and women, rich and poor wore the same styles; the wealthy however differed in the material being used for the fabric and wore brighter colors.

Sumerian men were either clean-shaven or wore their hair long and sported a beard. Women braided their hair and wore head dresses while entertaining guests. Jewelry was worn by both men and women, mainly necklaces and earrings. Some of the pieces that the wealthy wore were stunning bracelets and earrings in gold and silver.

The ancient Sumerian clothing consisted of a tunic was usually accompanied by a shawl or two with beautiful patterns and fringes and tassels. Broad belts kept these in place. The most care the ancient Sumerians took of perhaps was their coiffure. Hair was grown long by both the sexes, with curls and ringlets and even added false hair! Men grew curled beards and the head would adorn a metal or fabric band; woolen, leather or felt caps were also worn. Both men and women perfumed, oiled and dyed their hair black. Traces of aromatherapy reveal women would keep cones of aromatic herbs on their heads which would melt over the daytime leaving the hair aromatic! The royal headdress included a pleated crown with lappets at the rear; these would have ornamentation and jewelery would always be heavy and of the highest quality.

Around the year 2000BC in the ancient Sumerian culture Ziggurats began to be built to link the earth and heaven. These were the centre of worship and the centre of every town. Built of mud bricks these often towered at 5 to 7 storey. With priesthood, these became temples as well as learning centers for the community. There were a number of gods who acted and looked like people. They had children, marriages, feasts and wars. Each city had its own god or goddess who could be angry, kind, joyful or jealous. Priests would tell people what the gods wanted and their wishes were followed unrivalled. People looked to god to answer questions on death, life, the evil and forces of nature.

The ancient Sumer had a lot to offer to the modern world as it is today. Sumerians used tokens for trade, keeping stock of livestock and food. The earliest writing dates back to 3300 BC, and the Sumerian used pointed stylus to form ‘word-pictures’ on clay tablets. They also began to form ancient Sumerian clothing and kept developing with weaving, dyeing, printing, colors, patterns, fringed edges and tassels to begin with! Most of their styles are making a come back or I guess it would be better to state they were always around and adapted well!

Christopher Schwebius is an entrepreneur who seeks out sharply defined, specifically focused topics to research. Upon finishing his research he provides relevant, un-biased information to his readers based on his discoveries and/or personal experiences.

One of his latest ongoing projects can be viewed at


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