Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 153
Samuel Noah Kramer's History Begins at Sumer: Thirty-Nine Firsts in Man's Recorded History, (3rd rev. ed., Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1981) discusses a variety of Sumerian "innovations"—common cultural, historical, scientific, and social trends or events that were first recorded in Sumeria. Kramer's book covers such topics as: "Education: The First Schools," "Medicine: The First Pharmacopoeia," "Ethics: The First Moral Ideals," "The Sacred Marriage Rite: The First Sex Symbolism," "Ua aua: The First Lullaby," and ''Home of the Fish: The First Aquarium."
James B. Pritchard's Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950) offers an absolutely indispensable collection of literary, historical, religious, legal, and other cultural texts of the ancient Near East (Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Egyptian, and others), including the individual myths of the Sumerian Gilgamesh song-cycle; the Enuma Elish or the Mesopotamian Creation Epic, and other early mythological texts, and well-known sources like the Code of Hammurabi.