Ancient West Asia , The Amorites

The Sumerians have been linked to early writing and the use of bronze. In this article, you will learn more about the ancient Sumer culture, as well as one of their neighbors , the Amorites.

Bronze was a material associated with the Sumerians.  Sumer is believed to be the first place where tin was added to copper to make bronze. A reason why this might be is because there wasn’t a great deal of stone available for them to make tools. With their tools, they constructed temples , known as ziggurats. Walls made out of mud-brick were also popular and placed around their cities. Large irrigation projects were undertaken. They were successful in digging canals and ditches in order to transport water from the Tigris and the Euphrates to the land. As a result, this allowed the people to grow food, as well as expand their population within the same stretch of land.

The ancient Sumerians prospered, especially with the help of trade that came from the people of Elam (also known as the Elamites). They not only received necessary goods, but also engaged in battle with Elam , at different points in time. The Elamites lived to the east. In the west, the Amorites were their neighbors. These people spoke a Semitic language (much similar to the words spoken by modern Hebrew and Arabics). The Amorites spent their time split between living in cities and traveling as nomads.

The Amorites

Around 2000 BC, a group of people dwelled in ancient southern Turkey and Syria. They were known as the Amorites, which translates into “westerners” in Sumerian , probably because they were situated to the west of Sumer. We do know that when the Hittites (an Indo-European culture) invaded Turkey, the Amorites were not entirely conquered as a culture. However, they did learn a great deal from the Hittites and became influenced by their ways. Without the Hittites, they would have never been able to master riding a horse or use a chariot to fight during times of battle.

By 1700 BC, the Amorites had also gained the knowledge necessary for successfully besting the Egyptians. In the beginning, they most likely attacked regions in Syria that the Egyptians had control of. When the Amorites conquered these locations, they traveled south along the Mediterranean coast, making their way through Lebanon and Israel until they reached Egypt. By the time the Amorites reached the mouth of the Nile, they learned that Egypt had been controlling this location for quite some time. 

When the New Kingdom in Egypt emerged, the Amorites (or Hyksos as the Egyptians called them) were forced out of the region. The remaining people returned to their own land in Syria and southern Turkey. It is believed that the Amorites faded away with the advanced establishment of the Assyrian Empire. In the Christian Bible, they are mentioned , existing around 1200 to 700 BC.