As one of the world's oldest civilizations, Sumer, located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, has a rich and storied history. The civilization as a whole is well known for the advances they made in architecture, government, language, and other common areas of life; they are seen by many as the founders of modern civilization. It is believed that Sumer was settled between 4000 and 4500 BCE, with the network of walled city-states rising to prominence by about 3000 BCE. Though these areas were geographically separate, their shared language - the oldest language on record - connected them all.
The history of Sumer is broken down into several key periods, each marked by different leaders, trends, or cultural shifts. Little is known about the Early Dynastic I period, from approximately 2900 BCE to 2700 BCE; the period that followed, the Early Dynastic II period, from approximately 2700 BCE to 2600 BCE, saw the reign of Gilgamesh, the king of the city-state of Uruk and the titular character in the epic poem entitled The Epic of Gilgamesh. The use of syllabic writing emerged in the Early Dynastic IIIa period, approximately 2600 BCE to 2500 BCE; the Early Dynastic IIIb period would take the society to 2350 BCE. When referring to this point in Sumerian history until approximately 2218 BCE, the term Akkadian Empire is used; after the collapse of this great society, history would see the rise of the Third Dynasty or Ur, lasting until approximately 2004 BCE when it would fall to the Amorites.
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