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World History Honors
Unit 5: Early Civilization in the Middle East
Mesopotamia: City-States of Sumer
Answer the questions using the text (p. 5; 9-10; 14-15) and the following websites:
Creation Story:
Writing and Religion:
1. Describe the geography and climate of Mesopotamia. Why did people settle in this region?
2. How did the Sumerians improve the pre-existing geographic and climate advantages of the region? What
impact did this have?
3. Describe the basic physical structure/layout of Sumerian cities. What were the main features?
4. Why did the cities of Sumer develop into “city-states”? How did this transition occur?
5. What is a ziggurat? What role did it play in Sumerian cities?
6. Why were ziggurats built the way they were and in the place they were?
7. According to the Nabonidus Cylinder, for whom was the ziggurat of Ur built? Why did Nabonidus rebuild
the ziggurat?
8. Describe the political structure of the Sumerian city-states. What were the main roles of a king?
World History Honors
Unit 5: Early Civilization in the Middle East
9. Describe the social hierarchy of Sumer. What determined one’s status in Sumerian society?
10. What roles did priests and priestesses play in Sumerian society?
11. What impact did geography and the physical environment have on the way Sumerians viewed the world and
their gods?
12. Explain the relationship between Sumerians and their gods.
13. Describe the Sumerian form of writing.
14. How did Sumerians use writing in their society? What impact did the ability to write have in Mesopotamia?
15. Describe the basic plot of the Epic of Gilgamesh.
16. What does the Epic of Gilgamesh reveal about Sumerian values, religious beliefs, and concerns?