Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
Lesson at a Glance Outline

Chapter 6, Lesson 2, The Contributions of the Sumerians (pp. 156-161)

I. The First Kings

II. The Sumerian Religion

    A. The Sumerians believed their many gods controlled everything.

    B. All Sumerians served the gods in different ways.

III. The Beginnings of Writing

    A. The first Sumerian written symbols were for keeping track of trade.

    B. The were pictographs, or pictures that represent words or ideas.

    C. Later the pictographs were made to represent sounds, which could be combined to show words.

    D. By 2500 B.C., cuneiform was simplified and used this way for 2000 years.

    E. Around 900 B.C. the Phoenicians invented a new writing system with only 22 symbols--the alphabet.

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