From the Tablets of Sumer, by Samuel Noah Kramer
A Century ago the Sumerians were an unknown people. The ancient Egyptians and Persians, even the Assyrians and Babylonians, were known from the Greek historians and the Bible, but of the Sumerians there was no trace and no one suspected that they had ever existed. Then, between 1889 and 1900, archaeologists of the University of Pennsylvania excavated at the site of the long buried city of Nippur, one hundred miles south of modern Baghdad in Iraq. Again since 1948 the University Museum in Philadelphia and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago have sponsored digging at the same site. As a result of these excavations we have learned that Nippur was the cultural and spiritual center of Lower Mesopotamia at a period when this land was known as Sumer and its people were the Sumerians.
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