Social Class and Sumerians

Topics: Social class, Sociology, Sumer Pages: 3 (1011 words) Published: May 5, 2007
The civilization known as the Sumerians, developed in the Mesopotamia era, are considered to be the first culture to become civilized. As the Sumerians settled in Mesopotamia, a class structure gradually took shape which allowed them to progress their society. The second characteristic which shows the civilization of the Sumerians was their ability to create progress in agricultural skills and techniques. The final characteristic representative in the first culture of Mesopotamia is their contribution to the development of science and writing. Based on the characteristics that the Sumerians demonstrated we can come to the conclusion that the Mesopotamia era was civilized.

A culture must present distinct social classes within their society to be defined as civilized, as is shown by the Sumerian society. By having distinct classes, a society is also able to show evidence of government, trade and specialized occupations. The Sumerians had four classes, the top class, middle class, low class and the slave population. The top class consisted of the King, the Kings family, the chief priest and high palace officials . With the King being a part of the top class, the role of government in the society becomes clearer. The King was the leader of the centralized government which gave him the most wealth, power and land. This shows how the Sumerian society regarded government as an essential part of their emerging society. The middle class consisted of those who work for the King and the lower class were those who had no dependency on the King. Trade also created the different social classes. Those able to utilize trade moved up in the social world while others moved down. The development of a social structure shows the civilization of the Sumerians in many ways. It shows that the society recognized the government as the highest power and the importance of trade to the advancement of a society.

Displaying distinct social classes alone does not prove the...
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