“The origin of the Sumerians is unknown.
The intriguing question keeps returning into the literature but has so far unsatisfactory answers. The Sumerians were not the first people in Mesopotamia. They were not present before 4000 BCE, while before that time village communities existed with a high degree of organization.
The ‘principle of agriculture’ was not discovered by the Sumerians. This is evident from words the Sumerians use for items in relation to the domestication of plants and animals.
A language (in particular as it appears in proper names and geographical names) may show signs of so called substrate languages (like the influence of Celtic on ancient Gaul; compare some Indian geographical names in the US attesting the original inhabitants).
Some professional names and agricultural implements in Sumerian show that agriculture and the economic use of metals existed before the arrival of the Sumerians.
Sumerian words with a pre-Sumerian origin are:
- professional names such as simug ‘blacksmith’ and tibira ‘copper smith’, ‘metal-manufacturer’ are not in origin Sumerian words
- Agricultural terms, like engar ‘farmer’, apin ‘plow’ and absin ‘furrow’, are neither of Sumerian origin
- Craftsman like nangar ‘carpenter’, agab ‘leather worker’
- Religious terms like sanga ‘priest’
Some of the most ancient cities, like Kish, have names that are not Sumerian in origin.
These words must have been loan words from a substrate language. The words show how far the division in labor had progressed even before the Sumerians arrived.”
“Soon after 8,000 BC sedentary communities and domestic plants and animals began to appear in many areas of South-west Asia.
These domesticates and allied agricultural economies were to prove both successful and adaptable to the extent that within centuries of their first appearance they had spread far outside the Fertile Crescent.
By 7,000 BC farmers in Greek Thessaly were subsisting on cultivated emmer-wheat and barley as well as domestic cattle and pigs.”
“This site, currently undergoing excavation by German and Turkish archaeologists, was erected by hunter-gatherers at perhaps 11,500 B.C. (This is believed to be before the advent of sedentariness).
It is currently considered the oldest known shrine or temple complex in the world, and the planet’s oldest known example of monumental architecture.”
One of the most exciting discoveries in Turkish archaeology this century. It currently stands as the oldest known Megalithic Temple complex in the world (9,000 BC).
The site has numerous intricately carved T-shaped megaliths, covered with exquisite images of birds and animals.”
“Hacilar is an early human settlement in southwestern Turkey, 25 km southwest of present day Burdur. It has been dated back 7040 BC at its earliest stage of development.
Archaeological remains indicate that the site was abandoned and reoccupied on more than one occasion in its history.”
“Hacilar is another important center in Central Anatolia, near the modern city of Burdur.
There is evidence there of agriculture dating back 9,000 years. Archaeologists have found considerable amounts of wheat, barley and lentils in the houses at Hacilar, giving clues to people’s diet and the history of domesticated foods.
Catalhoyuk and Hacilar are also considered two of the earliest clay pottery centers. The existence of pottery is one very important indirect benefits of the sedentary lifestyle created by the ability to produce food year-round and even amass surpluses.
Assured of their ability to eat, and able to feed more than just the people who produced food, these stone-age city dwellers had the opportunity and time invent and create.”
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