This article is from the Sumerian Mythology FAQ, by Christopher Siren email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
Sumer may very well be the first civilization in the world (although
long term settlements at Jericho and C,atal Hu:yu:k predate Sumer and
examples of writing from Egypt and the Harappa, Indus valley sites _may_
predate those from Sumer). From its beginnings as a collection of farming
villages around 5000 BCE, through its conquest by Sargon of Agade around
2370 BCE and its final collapse under the Amorites around 2000 BCE, the
Sumerians developed a religion and a society which influenced both their
neighbors and their conquerors. Sumerian cuneiform, the earliest written
language, was borrowed by the Babylonians, who also took many of their
religious beliefs. In fact, traces and parallels of Sumerian myth can be
found in Genesis.