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22 votes
Accepted

What murals and decor might have been present in the earliest Sumerian temples?

As a quick note on chronology, "5000+ years ago" would put your setting in the Jemdet Nasr period or earlier (Uruk III–V; yes, archeological periods are numbered backwards). This is around ...
20 votes
Accepted

What is known about the Ubaid lizard-people figurines?

There are many theories & interpretations, but relatively little evidence to support most of them. Of course, there are no written sources from the Ubaid period to support them. You are ...
  • 76.5k
12 votes
Accepted

Is David Graeber correct to assert that patriarchy did not exist in Sumeria?

This is preliminary, since comments are too limiting for this kind of discussion. Hopefully this answer will be evolving with the question. There are quite some intricacies involved in answering this ...
10 votes
Accepted

How did/do Sumerian numbers sound?

Some, though not all, of the Sumerian numbers are known from syllabic spellings. There is an overview here
  • 9,483
9 votes

What colors were used as paint in the construction of the ziggurats in early Sumer?

It appears the consensus is indicating multiple colors. In Mesopotamia the seven stages of a ziggurat were each painted a different color, the colors being emblematic of the seven planets ...
  • 34.4k
6 votes
Accepted

Are images of the original tablets for the Epic of Gilgamesh available online?

As you know from my answer to your earlier question, the best preserved tablets containing the standard Akkadian version of the Gilgameš Epic were discovered in the Library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh ...
  • 76.5k
5 votes

Was marriage a religious institution in its beginings or not?

I'm going to assume the question, like most people who bring up questions relating the two these days, is referring to only "pair-bonded" (strict) monogamous relationships. The thing is, ...
  • 111k
5 votes

Where to find a comprehensive list of proto-cuneiform Sumerian glyphs?

I have found full list of proto-cuneiform signs (very large file [93 MB]), with very detailed glyphs together with their meanings sadly meanings seems to be all missing. Though there is no author ...
  • 1,294
5 votes

How did/do Sumerian numbers sound?

Sumerian has been a dead language for nearly 4,000 years, and had no known linguistic descendants, predecessors, or relatives. Its printed form was logographic, which means each word was represented ...
  • 111k
4 votes

is Ubaid 0 actually related to Eridu and Ubaid I-IV?

The use of zero should be a clue that "Ubaid 0" was identified later in the timeline of Ubaid archaeology, and was an attempt to fit an earlier phase into an existing structure. Eridu was first ...
  • 3,722
4 votes
Accepted

Is Sumer considered by historians as a part of Western Civilization?

This isn't the sort of question you find citations for, but the essence of Western Civ. starts with the Greeks. Much of Greek history lies in its interactions with the Persians and other denizens of ...
  • 11.9k
4 votes

Is Sumer considered by historians as a part of Western Civilization?

"Western Civilization" is a very loosely defined expression. It can be more or less whatever you want it to mean. Usually, however, when we talk of "Western", we implicitly place ourselves in a modern ...
2 votes
Accepted

How would ancient Sumerian astronomers predict length of the next lunar month?

"How would" is hypothetical and I can't delve into that here. "How did they?" That is answerable, but apparently not to satisfaction. We do not know for sure. But as far as we understand the texts, it ...
1 vote

What is known about the Ubaid lizard-people figurines?

I can't add much to sempaiscuba's excellent answer, except to mention one interesting interpretation/hypothesis--well, interesting to this layperson anyway: Stephen Oppenheimer's book Eden in the East ...

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