Discover history’s first empire: Sumer, located in Mesopotamia, which built the world’s first cities and created the first writing system.

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.

Lesson by Soraya Field Fiorio, directed by Tomás Pichardo-Espaillat.

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By earmpy

25 thoughts on “The rise and fall of history’s first empire – Soraya Field Fiorio”
  1. This is the best comment section ever!
    From memes to academic discussions, there’s something for everybody.
    Thank you Ted. Still waiting for when you will actually show up to your talk.

  2. "The Sumerian Empire… lacked centralized control." The fact that Sumer "lacked centralized control" is the reason that it was NOT an "empire". The fact that TED lacks basic knowledge of historical terminology is why it is NOT "Ed".

  3. they also did not invent everything themselves, the region invented the various technologies. The empire part is not important, the political aspect is what is imposed with modern eyes, but they didn't prosper because hey had an autocratic dictator, that's never happened in history.

  4. the climate was different, of course there was more vegetation than today back then. Also you use a drawing of the rivers which is modern, they did not meet back then. Sumer was very close to the Persian Gulf, not like today.

  5. My first thought was "Well, how are we defining 'Civilization though?" only to be hit with the quote about Sumerian.
    Alrighty then, cuneiform it is.

  6. There were far more trees in the region back then. The levant experienced massive deforestation over time as a result of exporting lumber to Mesopotamia.

  7. Interesting… Show all this, go to all this trouble and make it look nice… and then… not talk about the story of the Epic of Gilgamesh, Enuma Elish, and explain that they are previous versions of the story told again much later in the Tannak and that went to the new testament… that is something! Not to talk about that! Kudos for keeping people in the dark about where we came from, while you pretend to do the opposite!!!

  8. The Indus valley civilization was older or contemporary, with the first ever drainage system and modern toilet flushes.
    I fail to understand why Western history ends at the periphery of Greater Ancient Greece. As if it hurts the ego to credit a non Eurocentric world view

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