Sumerian (𒅴𒂠 Emegir "native tongue") is the language of ancient Sumer. It is believed to be a language isolate and to have been spoken in ancient Mesopotamia (also known as the Fertile Crescent), in the area that is modern-day Iraq.
|Native to||Sumer and Akkad|
|Region||Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq)|
|Era||Attested from c. 3000 BC. Effectively extinct from about 2000–1800 BC; used as classical language until about 100 AD.|
Akkadian gradually replaced Sumerian as a spoken language in the area around 2000 BC (the exact date is debated), but Sumerian continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial, literary and scientific language in Akkadian-speaking Mesopotamian states such as Assyria and Babylonia until the 1st century AD. Thereafter it seems to have been forgotten until the 19th century, when Assyriologists began deciphering the cuneiform inscriptions and excavated tablets that had been left by its speakers.