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The Sumerians

A Complete Guide to Sumerian History and the Sumerian Civilization. Sumer in the Akkadian Empire & the Ancient City of Babylon
Narrated by: Cheryl May
Length: 3 hrs and 34 mins
Categories: History, Ancient History
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

These people, the Sumerians, influenced not only all the other civilizations that arose in Mesopotamia but virtually every other human society that followed. Without the Sumerians, the world today would be a very different place. However, although we know a great deal about these people, there are fundamental mysteries about the Sumerians that have still not been solved by historians or archaeologists. For example, the Sumerians seemed to appear in Mesopotamia with a complex and developed society and skills and technologies that no other culture possessed, yet there is no agreement where they came from. 

They created a complex language, but no one knows what it sounded like. There are striking examples of similarities between the art of the civilization of Sumer and the art of other ancient civilizations, yet we know that these cultures had no contact with each other. The Sumerians were able to observe and record astronomical and celestial phenomena in very advanced ways that are still not understood.

In this audiobook you will learn about:

  • Sumerian culture
  • Sumerian inventions
  • How long they were around
  • What they looked like
  • Fascinating insight into their everyday life
©2019 Innovative History (P)2019 Innovative History

What listeners say about The Sumerians

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    4 out of 5 stars

A large and far reaching culture.

This is a good starter book for anyone wanting a taster of the Sumerian history and culture, either for simple curiosity or as a decider whether or not to research more fully. It does an excellent job of pointing out the sudden advances which they brought about in, amongst other things, farming and technologies and highlighting those areas which still remain unresolved, like where they came from and how, without any form of telescope, their knowledge of astronomy was advanced enough to know that the Earth was one of several planets circling the sun. It presents known facts quite well, plus a brief history, but would have benefited enormously from a bibliography.
Narration is poor. Although Cheryl May has a reasonably pleasant voice with the benefit of being clear, her phrasing of the text is bizarre, with frequent displaced pauses ('They just hoped - pause - that the ...' Or 'Another Sumerian city state - pause - would become...') and several mispronunciations (such as 'squilmesh' instead of skirmish), which become irritatingly distracting as the book progressed. In fact, to this reader, it increasingly sounded as if Ms.May was reading it aloud like a children's book, and paying little attention to the content as she skipped through a text about which she knew nothing, having never seen it before. A more text focused, interested and smooth narration would have transformed the book.

A pity, as the textual content was very interesting. My thanks to the rights holder of The Sumerians, who, at my request, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy via Audiobook Boom. A good source of basic background information - but best buy a printed copy if eccentric narration is distracting.

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  • Margaret
  • 21-06-19

So much I learned.

This is the first book I’ve read/listened to by Innovating History and I would gladly listen to another. I learned a lot from this book. It was well organized and covered a variety of topics. Each chapter described a different area of Sumerian history. I was fascinated to learn how much we can attribute to them - they are the earliest recorded people to accomplish many things. We have this wealth of knowledge do to the Sumerian’s extensive record keeping.

This is the first book I’ve listened to by this narrator ( Cheryl May ) and I would listen to another. She did well reading this content- her style was comfortable to listen to. Her diction was clear and pacing good.

There are no explicit sex scenes, excessive violence or swearing.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review.
Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Courtney Odor
  • 07-05-19

History can be interesting

As always, I have to let you guys know that I received this book for free in exchange for a review. But as always, this does not affect my opinion of the book, so I always give honest feedback.

I enjoyed learning about the ancient history that we know little about.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alfredo
  • 06-05-20

Exatctly what you'd expect

Not too much fluff, just interesting stuff around the sumerians and mesapotania. So much history, and yeah if you want to know more about those crazy theories (yeah aliens , and that mystic handbag), this book got you covered too

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  • David Brice Carlisle
  • 02-11-19

Fascinating! Enlightening! A definite must read / listen!

Do you find the “fire & bull$4!#” of corrupt religions hard to swallow? Does the psychotic sociopathic sadism & masochism of ancient Roman society make your stomach turn? Ever wonder how humanity could evolve to corruption and why?

Then read this book and it can all begin to make sense. This is truly the beginning of civilization on Earth.

From out of the Stone Age conscious enlightenment arose.

Beautifully read by a soothing, well spoken voice. Very well written.

Bravo!!!!

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  • Son of Thor's whimper
  • 09-10-19

Not good enough

Several issues with this audiobook. Foremost, the content is basically a history of Sumer which was what I wanted so that is Ok, but it is not helping me. Firstly, it is rather shallow, and secondly, where it had information which I was interested in there was no possibility to a follow up on my side as there neither in the narrative nor in a pdf was any references. The two times I would have had an interest to follow up I was left in the dark as to who made this claim, what year it was made and where it was published. The Great Courses publish a pdf with among other things a list of relevant litterature. I missed this here. Not even the author was made known, baring me from figuring out for myself via that persons publications. So interesting to a degree, but way too shallow.
Second, the narrative made the impression of a computer voice, in spite of the narrator having a name. During the only three and half hours, I many times got the impression that the voice was trying to text letter by letter and thereby lost the resemblance of a human voice. As well as a correct pronunciation. The narration made an airy impression.

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  • Deedra
  • 24-06-19

The Sumerians

This was a very good,but short,overview of the Sumerian civilization.It was fascinating and told well by Cheryl May. I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

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  • Kevin Potter
  • 08-05-19

Concise and informative

Even for a learned amateur, there is some great information to be found here.

Cheryl May's narration is pleasant and easily understandable, though there were a couple of mispronounced words and a handful of pauses in unusual places.

Although I'm far from a scholar, I consider myself relatively learned about history, particularly ancient history. I've made several studies of Sumerian history in particular.

And even so, I found a fair bit of new information herein, much of it fascinating. There is so much about the ancient Sumerians that is both extremely interesting and quite mysterious.

However, there are two issues that bear mentioning.

1) At the start of the book, the text couldn't decide what measurement to use. First we see hectares, then miles, then kilometers before it finally settles in kilometers as the standard.

2) This one is the larger issue. There is a factual error around the reasons the Sumerians (among others) initially worked with bronze rather than iron. The text states this as bronze being stronger, which is factually incorrect. Although Iron is only marginally stronger than bronze, it is less brittle and has the advantage that its strength increases each time it is tempered (heated and rapidly cooled). It is true that in the ancient world, before this was understood, that generally only happened when repairs were made, but the point is that even at its initial forging bronze is still not a stronger metal.

The actual reason bronze was chosen is because it is far easier to work with as it has a much lower melting point (1,000 c vs 1,600 c).

Apart from that relatively minor issue, however, I found this book both entertaining and informative, if rather shallow. It is much more of a broad overview than any kind of detailed study of the Sumerians.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking to learn a bit about the first advanced culture. Even if you already know a bit and are looking to learn more, this would be a great jumping off point before digging into something with more depth.

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  • KatMama
  • 07-05-19

Concise and informative review

Good overview of the history of the Sumerians, including the creation of their society and progression. The narration could be rather dry at times, however the subject matter was interesting and compelling. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook and found it a good way to shore up what I’ve forgotten since middle school history class. Recommend!

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Jan
  • 04-05-19

Great read for non academics!

anthropology, historical-places-events, historical-research, historical-setting

Anthropology for the rest of us! I learned even more than I hoped to. Everybody has heard of the Sumerians, but most of us couldn't write a paragraph about them. I'll grant you that there is a lot of the unknown, including where they came from and why was their language so different from others in the area. But I learned they were innovative in roads, transportation, water distribution, art, music, architecture, literature, and development of cuneiform writing. They built ziggurats, developed the city of Babylon, one of their rulers was Hamurabi, and one of the scribes was Gilgamesh. Their time of reign was roughly 4500 to 1900 BCE, and some credit them with developing bronze. Great reference!
The narrator for the audiobook is Cheryl May who seems to have enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed learning from it.
I entered and won it in a giveaway without expectations.