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Sumer (from Akkadian Šumeru; Sumerian 𒆠𒂗𒂠 ki-en-ĝir15, approximately "land of the civilized lords" or "native land"[1])[2] was a civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia, modern Iraq during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age.

The dynastic period of Sumer spans the Uruk period (5th millennium BC), followed by the proto-historical early dynastic period (early 3rd millennium BC) and the dynastic period of Sumer proper in the mid 4th millennium BC, until the conquest of Sumer by the Akkadians around 2400 BC. Native Sumerian rule re-emerged for about a century in the so-called Sumerian Renaissance of the 21st to 20th century (short chronology).

The cities of Sumer were the first civilization to practice intensive, year-round agriculture, by 5000 BC showing the use of core agricultural techniques including large-scale intensive cultivation of land, mono-cropping, organized irrigation, and the use of a specialized labor force. The surplus of storable food created by this economy allowed the population to settle in one place instead of migrating after crops and grazing land. It also allowed for a much greater population density, and in turn required an extensive labor force and division of labor. Sumer was also the site of early development of writing, progressing from a stage of proto-writing in the mid 4th millennium BC to writing proper by 3000 BC (see Jemdet Nasr).


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