Fragmentary head of a worshiper
Public domain photo of a 3d object, Ancient Near Eastern, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description
Sumer, site of the earliest known civilization, located in the southernmost part of Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in the area that later became Babylonia and is now southern Iraq, from around Baghdad to the Persian Gulf. The people called Sumerians, whose language became the prevailing language of the territory, probably came from around Anatolia, arriving in Sumer about 3300 BCE. By the 3rd millennium BCE the country was the site of at least 12 separate city-states: Kish, Erech (Uruk), Ur, Sippar, Akshak, Larak, Nippur, Adab, Umma, Lagash, Bad-tibira, and Larsa. Each of these states comprised a walled city and its surrounding villages and land, and each worshipped its own deity, whose temple was the central structure of the city. Political power originally belonged to the citizens, but, as rivalry between the various city-states increased, each adopted the institution of kingship. An extant document, The Sumerian King List, records that eight kings reigned before the great Flood.