Perspective: Early Red in Bronze Age Sumer

Perspective Taking

  • I am a Sumerian, living in the cradle of civilization. I feel a sense of awe and wonder at the world around me. The symbols and signs that we have developed to communicate, our hieroglyphics and cuneiform, are more than just tools for conveying messages - they are a means of expressing my innermost thoughts and feelings. They allow me to share my experiences, my hopes, my fears, and my dreams with others. I feel a deep connection with the divine, and I believe that these symbols are a gift from the gods, allowing us to communicate with them and with each other. I see the world around me as a place of mystery and magic, filled with spirits and deities that guide and protect us. I feel a strong sense of community and belonging, knowing that I am part of a society that shares these beliefs and values.
  • As a Sumerian, I am part of a complex social system. I am a farmer, a craftsman, a soldier, depending on the needs of my city-state. I follow the rules and norms of my society, obeying the laws set down by our king and priests. I use the tools and technologies available to me, such as the plow and the wheel, to cultivate the land and build our cities. I use our written language, cuneiform, to record transactions, laws, and stories. This form of communication has transformed our society, enabling us to organize and coordinate our activities on a scale never before seen. It has also allowed us to preserve our knowledge and pass it on to future generations.
  • We Sumerians share a rich and vibrant culture. We have a shared language, a shared religion, and shared customs and traditions. We believe in the power of the gods and the spirit world, and we express these beliefs through our art, our architecture, and our rituals. Our hieroglyphics and cuneiform are integral to our culture, allowing us to record our myths and legends, our laws and our history. They are a means of transmitting our cultural heritage from generation to generation. We value harmony and order, and we strive to live in accordance with the will of the gods. We respect authority and hierarchy, acknowledging the roles and responsibilities of kings, priests, and elders. We value community and cooperation, working together to build and sustain our city-states.
  • Our society is organized into city-states, each governed by a king and a council of elders. We have developed a system of laws and regulations to maintain order and justice. We have a complex economy, based on agriculture, trade, and craftsmanship. Our hieroglyphics and cuneiform play a crucial role in this system, allowing us to keep records, make contracts, and communicate across distances. They have enabled us to create a sophisticated bureaucracy, to manage our resources, and to coordinate our activities. They have also allowed us to develop a rich literary tradition, including epic poems, hymns, and laments. Our society is interconnected and interdependent, with each individual playing a part in the larger whole.

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