Mesopotamian Education! icon-house(1).gif


Mesopotamia was the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates river. It existed many thousands of years ago and is no longer because of a great amount of salt in the way they grew food. This page will introduce you to education in Mesopotamia. Education is the process of teaching or learning. Education helps children develop for when they get older. In Mesopotamia, school houses were part of the temple and were called the edubba.


In Mesopotamia, the schools were apart of the main temple and the principal was called the father or unmia. Every unmia had two assistants called big brothers. The big brothers would help students and prepare clay tablets. The unmia would be in charge of discipline, most of the teaching, and to make school interesting. Students were often made embarrased. Force was used and students could be hit with a stick. The Mesopotamians were the first people to develop a written language (cuneiform).

After a while, other subjects began taking place besides scribing such as Sumerian language, economics, farming, law, biology, space and astronomy, and math. Creative writing was did not take place outside school.

Record keeping and education was very important in Mesopotamia. They wrote everything down and they wanted their boys to be able to read and write. Anybody who could read and write would get good jobs, so school was the ideal place to be as a kid.

School was much harder in Mesopotamia. In Sumer, schools would only teach more wealthy boys, so girls were not allowed. School would also take place from daybreak till sunset for about 25 days a month. Also, the teachers were very strict. If a student made a mistake or wasn't perfect, they would most likely get whipped.

Most boys went to school to become a scribe. A scribe would keep track of all business deals, legal issues, and stories. This was all recorded in cuneiform. In Sumer, a scribe was a well-paying and notable job.

For a student, the daily plan would be to copy down stories in the morning and in the afternoon to work on their writing. Because children did so much writing, this developed the name of Sumerian schools known as "tablet houses".


Education in Mesopotamia-

Oxford Dictionary of Current English-Third Edition:"education"