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Sumeria World's first civilization, dating from before 3000 bc, in s Mesopotamia. The Sumerians are credited with inventing cuneiform writing, the first basic socio-political institutions, and a money-based economy. Major cities were Ur, Kish, and Lagash. During the third millennium bc, Sumeria developed into an imperial power. In c.2340 bc, the Semitic peoples of Akkadia conquered Mesopotamia, and by c.1950 bc the ancient civilization had disintegrated.