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With the establishment of the cities of Sumer, their history unfolds from approximately 5000 BCE to 1750 BCE when “the Sumerians ceased to exist as a people” (Kramer) after Sumer was invaded by the Elamites and Amorites. 5000-4100 BCE) came the Uruk Period (4100-2900 BCE) in which cities began to emerge across the landscape and the city of Uruk rose in prominence.
Though the period is named for the `first city’ of Uruk, Eridu was considered the first city by the Sumerians themselves, as previously noted.
The name comes from Akkadian, the language of the north of Mesopotamia, and means “land of the civilized kings”.Trade was firmly established with foreign lands at this time and writing evolved from pictograms to cuneiform script.It is thought that trade was the main motivator in the development of writing as there now had to be some means for accurate, long-distance, communication between the merchants of Sumer and their agents abroad.It has been noted, again by Kramer, that these names are not Sumerian but come from the Ubaid people and so were founded, at least as villages, much earlier than c. Other cities in Sumer were Sippar, Shuruppak, Bad-tibira, Girsu, Umma, Urukag, Nina, and Kissura.All were of varying size and scope with Uruk the largest and most powerful at its prime.
Under their king Eannutum, Lagash became the centre of a small empire which included most of Sumer and parts of neighboring Elam.