What Happened to the Sumerians?

The last year of the Sumerian civilization was 1750 B.C. when neighboring peoples invaded Sumer, carried away the king and established themselves in the land; the Sumerian people began moving north. The Sumerians bequeathed the 24-hour day, writing, highly advanced agriculture and many religious concepts to human civilization.

Sumer was the first and southernmost civilization of Mesopotamia. Cities and trade with other peoples began to emerge in the Uruk Period of 4100 to 2900. By 3600, Sumerians had established the world's first cities and invented the wheel, the sailboat, cuneiform writing and irrigation.

The next period of the Sumerian civilization was the Early Dynastic Period of 2900 to 2234, when Sargon of Akkad seized the throne. The Akkadian Empire lasted just 16 years, until 2218. After that a dark period in Sumerian history began with the invasion by Gutian people. The Gutian Period lasted from 2218 to 2047 B.C.

The last period of Sumerian history was the Ur III Period, which was considered a renaissance. It lasted from 2047 until 1750 B.C. In that year the Semitic Elamites and Amorites invaded. Sumerian, possibly the first written language, was no longer spoken after the Sumerians moved north and their culture ended.

Though Sumerian civilization died, the later Babylonians and Assyrians adopted some Sumerian writing, myths, scientific knowledge, law and business organization.