Cuneiform: The First System of Writing
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

I believe that writing is the most important invention in history. It is the most important for two reasons. First, it helped governments and businesses become more effective. Second, it helped ideas to spread. Writing was invented by the Sumerians. They invented it around 5,000 years ago. They used writing to make their government work better. One example is Hammurabi’s …

Mesopotamia: Visit The Ziggurat!
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

Have you visited amazing, unforgettable Ur? It’s the religious, cultural, and business hub of Sumer. You just haven’t seen all that the “Land Between Two Rivers” has to offer if you haven’t visited this city. If you visited Ur around 2029 BC, you might have noticed a lot of construction going on. King Ur-Nammu, who now walks with the gods …

Mesopotamia: The Code of Hammurabi
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

In 1901, a large stone was found by archaeologists in the Middle East. It was covered in cuneiform. Cuneiform was an ancient writing system. When the archaeologists translated the writing, they learned that it was a set of laws. The archaeologists had found Hammurabi’s Code. Their discovery was one of the most important finds in human history. Hammurabi was an …

Mesopotamia: Humanity’s Greatest Invention
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

I believe that writing is the most important invention in history. It is the most important for two reasons. First, it helped governments and businesses become more effective. Second, it helped ideas to spread. Writing was invented by the Sumerians. They invented it around 5,000 years ago. They used writing to make their government work better. One example is Hammurabi’s …

Sumer: The First Civilization
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

The first civilization appeared around 5,500 years ago. It rose up along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Today that land is the country of Iraq. At that time, it was called Mesopotamia. What was special about that land between two rivers? It had rich soil that was good for farming. The people who lived along these two rivers were called …

Mesopotamia: The Rise of River Valley Civilizations
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

For early humans, fresh water could be hard to find. Because water was scarce, rivers became very important. For thousands of years, hunter-gatherers around the world stayed close to rivers. They followed them as their tribes moved from place to place. Along the banks of a river, they could find plants and animals to eat. Over time, humans began to …