HOF Episode 4: How to Turn Food into Wealth (Sumer)

We’ve done it. We’ve finally crossed into the realm of written records and recorded history.  Join me on an odyssey going back 6,000 years ago, when the Sumerians of what is today southern Iraq, took a mega-surplus of grain and transformed it directly into wealth and power.  In the process, they managed to invent cities, urbanism, and all the trappings modern civilization. (Not to mention the first written recipes and cookbooks)

Theme music by the incredible Michael Levy of Ancient Lyre. This rendition of the Hurian Hymn, the oldest known piece of sheet music, and the whole album “An Ancient Lyre” and much more is available from all major digital music stores and streaming sites.

AVAILABLE ON SOUNDCLOUD AND ITUNES.
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(Fun note: this is the era and society that produced the banner art for this website, a royal banquet in Mesopotamia)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Uruk: the First City, by Mario Liverani

Richard Bulliet’s “History of the World” lectures, from Columbia University

The Creation of Inequality: How are Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire

Cooking in Ancient Civilizations

The Food Timeline

Ancient Grain Reveals the Development of the Earliest Cities, ScienceNordic 10/3/17

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