The Sumerians were an ancient civilization from the Fertile crescent region, that's the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The area now, is roughly in the same region as Iran, Iraq and Syria. You wouldn't think so, but this is one of the first few areas in the world to start farming food. As often happens when people are able to settle down and start farming, a surplus of food is created. As less people need to spend their time farming, civilizations can support craftsmen, soldiers, priests and kings. Kings and priests have an uncanny ability to want more, and thus the higher ups look around and see what is easy to take. To claim these easy pickings craftsmen make the weapons and armor to support the soldiers conquests.
Sumeria has a number of great inventions attributed to them; the wheel, cuneiform, arithmetic, and the sexagestimal system (that would be the system we use to measure time.) They were also some of the first astronomers and named the five planets visible to the naked eye. With all this advanced technology abounding you'd expect the Sumerians to come up with some pretty swell ideas for Sumerian armor. Well you'd be right. Unlike the Egyptians the Sumerians made use of body armor on all of their infantry. Early illustrations have the men wearing a tunic that looks to be made out of goat wool and wearing simple helmets made out of leather or possibly copper or bronze. Bronze is more likely because its much harder than copper and its smelting of it was not unknown to the Sumerians. The heavy infantry employed a rectangular shield probably made of leather, having a central metal boss and covering the soldiers from shin to chin. That about covers it for a general overview of Sumerian armor, but there's a couple more interesting things concerning their equipment.
The Sumerians invented a long leather cloak complete with metal studs interwoven to protect the wearer. It would be interesting to see if the cloak would afford decent protection but at least it would make quite the fashion statement. Another interesting piece of Sumerian armor was discovered in the tomb of a nobleman. It was a helmet made of electrum, an alloy of silver and gold, and was modeled with the ears, headband and even the hairs fashioned out of the metal. Electrum isn't a very tough metal so most likely the helmet was used for ceremonial purposes.
Most of what we know about the Sumerians is mostly isolated to pictures and writings of the time. Considering the Sumerians existed almost 4500 years ago we don't have much in the way of concrete evidence of their achievements. Because we don't see any evidence of other civilizations copying the metal studded cloak we have to question if it was a viable idea or just a novelty. Other ideas such as bronze armor were a stepping stone for other better technologies by other cultures.
Illustrated by Cyrus "killacaravagio" Hunter
Bronze Studded Brilliance At first the metal studded cloak was regarded as a gift from the gods of protection... But the cloak was quickly scrapped after 75% of the soldiers were affected with hunch-backism.