Military



The first historical evidence of army organization comes from the Middle Eastern Sumerian empire in Babylonia. Figurines from the 4th millennium BC show foot soldiers in copper helmets and heavy cloaks carrying short spears. Sumerian soldiers also used slings and simple bows. Light infantrymen carried battle-axes, daggers, and spears. The regular infantry also used copper helmets, felt cloaks, and leather kilts.Sumerian armies consisted mostly of infantry.







The almost constant wars among the Sumerian city-states for 2000 years helped to develop the military technology and techniques of Sumer to a high level. The first war recorded was between Lagash and Umma in ca. 2525 BC on a stele called the Stele of Vultures.

It shows the king of Lagash leading a Sumerian army consisting mostly of infantry. The infantrymen carried spears, wore copper helmets and carried leather or wicker shields. The spearmen are shown arranged in what resembles the phalanx formation, which requires training and discipline; this implies that the Sumerians may have made use of professional soldiers.

The Sumerian military forces used carts harnessed to onagers. These early chariots functioned less effectively in combat than did later designs, and some have suggested that these chariots served primarily as transports, though the crew carried battle-axes and lances. The Sumerian chariot comprised a four-wheeled device manned by a crew of two and harnessed to four onagers. The cart was composed of a woven basket and the wheels had a solid three-piece design.

The Sumerian military used carts harnessed to onagers. These early chariots functioned less effectively in combat than did later designs, and some have suggested that these chariots served primarily as transports, though the crew carried battle-axes and lances. The Sumerian chariot comprised a four or two-wheeled device manned by a crew of two and harnessed to four onagers. The cart was composed of a woven basket and the wheels had a solid three-piece design.

Sumerian cities were surrounded by defensive walls. The Sumerians engaged in siege warfare between their cities, but the mudbrick walls were able to deter some foes.

The first historical evidence of army organization comes from the Middle Eastern Sumerian empire in Babylonia. Figurines from the 4th millennium BC show foot soldiers in copper helmets and heavy cloaks carrying short spears. Sumerian soldiers also used slings and simple bows. Light infantrymen carried battle-axes, daggers, and spears. The regular infantry also used copper helmets, felt cloaks, and leather kilts.Sumerian armies consisted mostly of infantry.





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