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β€œWhat you seek, you shall never find. For when the Gods made man, they kept immortality for themselves”
—Epic of Gilgamesh

The Sumerians were once the inhabitants of the ancient Mesopotamian kingdom of Sumeria, and are a playable civilization in Age of Empires. They are an infantry based civilization, and excel at making strong economies.

Among their most prominent bonuses in the early game are the increased Villager hit points, which make them more resistant to wild animals and rushes early on. They also farm and gather wood more efficiently than other civilizations, thanks to their farming bonus which increases the food in their farms by +125.

The Sumerians are arguably the earliest culture that appeared in the Middle East and are believed to led to several military advancements, such as siege warfare. They also invented the well and used carts pulled by onagers. To reflect this, their Catapults have less reload time. Food was generally abundant among them, thanks to their key location among the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which allowed extensive agriculture, resulting in a growing population. To reflect this, their Villagers have more hit points and their Farms have more food.


Campaign appearances[]

The Sumerians appear as AI players in:

Voices of Babylon[]


Age of Empires[]

Definitive Edition[]

AI Player Names[]

Names shown in italics are only used in the original game, names shown in bold are used in both the original game and its expansions.

  • Gilgamesh (π’„‘π’‰ˆπ’‚΅π’ˆ©) - King of Uruk around 2600 BC
  • Sargon (π’ˆ—π’Ί) - King of Akkad c. 2334-2279 BC
  • Gilgamesh II - Did not exist in Sumer
  • Sargon II - Did not exist in Sumer
  • Sargon III - Did not exist in Sumer
  • Gilgamesh III - Did not exist in Sumer
  • Sargon IV - Did not exist in Sumer
  • Lugalzaggesi (π’ˆ—π’ π’„„π’‹›) - King of Sumer 2296-2271 BC
  • Rimush (π’Œ·π’ˆ¬π’‘) - King of Akkad 2283-2274 BC
  • Urukagina (π’Œ·π’…—π’„€π’ˆΎ) - King of Lagash, 25th or 24th century BC
  • Enheduanna (π’‚—π’ƒΆπ’ŒŒπ’€­π’ˆΎ) - High Priestess of Ur, daughter of Sargon
  • Naram Sin (π’€­π’ˆΎπ’Šπ’„ π’€­π’‚—π’ͺ) - King of Akkad 2254-2218 BC
  • Lugalbanda (π’ˆ—π’Œ‰π’•) - Mythological king of Uruk
  • Emmerkar (π’ˆ—π’Œ‰π’•) - Mythological king of Uruk
  • Mesannepada - King of Ur, 26th or 25th century BC


Sumerian civilization took form in the Uruk period (4th millennium B.C.), continuing into the Jemdat, Nasr and Early Dynastic periods. It was conquered by the Semitic-speaking kings of the Akkadian Empire around 2400 BC. Native Sumerian rule re-emerged for about a century in the third dynasty of Ur (Sumerian Renaissance) of the 21st to 20th century (short chronology).

The cities of Sumer were the first civilization to practice intensive, year-round agriculture, by 5000 BC showing the use of core agricultural techniques including large-scale intensive cultivation of land, mono-cropping, organized irrigation, and the use of a specialized labour force. The surplus of storable food created by this economy allowed the population to settle in one place instead of migrating after crops and grazing land. It also allowed for a much greater population density, and in turn required an extensive labour force and division of labour. Sumer was also the site of the first early development of writing, progressing from a stage of proto-writing in the mid 4th millennium BC to writing proper in the third millennium.


  • The Sumerians have a hidden civilization penalty for their Helepolises which have a reduced fire rate of -50% if played in the Scenario Editor. With the release of Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome, they are the only civilization that still have a penalty.
  • Despite being a Mesopotamian people, they have the Egyptian architecture like the Assyrians.
  • Historically, the Sumerians built Ziggurats; however, they share their architectural set and Wonder (which is a pyramid) with the Egyptians and Assyrians, while the Ziggurat is, in an inaccurate way, the wonder of the Babylonians, Hittites and Persians.