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Ancient Near Eastern civilization, occupying what is now southern Iraq. The Sumerians were the first to invent writing, around 3500 B.C., for which let us all be eternally grateful to them. The original version of Gilgamesh
was Sumerian. Their language had 14 cases. Samuel Noah Kramer writes the best books on Sumer for the non-specialist, so far as I've been able to tell.