“The land between two rivers”Sumer--Akkad—Babylon—Hittites—Assyrians—Babylon—PersianMs. Jerome
Do Now Read excerpt and answer questions from The Epic of Gilgamesh The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Mesopotamia and is among the earliest known works of literature. Scholars believe that it originated as a series of Sumerian legends and poems about the protagonist of the story, Gilgamesh king of Uruk, which were fashioned into a longer Akkadian epic much later. The most complete version existing today is preserved on 12 clay tablets from the library collection of 7th-century BC Assyrian king Ashurbanipal. The epic was originally titled He who Saw the Deep (Shanaqbaīmuru) or Surpassing All Other Kings (Shūturelisharrī), which are the first few words of the epic in different versions.
Map: Why is the outlined location of Mesopotamia an ideal location for a civilization?
The Unpredictable Floods • The Tigris and Euphrates flooded unpredictably • Washed settlements away • Others learned to build canals and dikes and built uphill • Sumer developed in southern Mesopotamia • Over 100,000 people • Sumerian cities were the center of political and military authority • Marketplaces were economic centers • Also cultural centers with priests and scribes
Sumerian Civilization • River management was key to early success • Developed cuneiform—why is this important to the longevity of a culture? • Write down laws • Treaties • Social and religious customs • Record keeping (who paid their taxes? Who didn’t?)
Polytheism Each city state had its own god that was worshipped only by its people. Sumerians built ziggurats to honor their deities. Each city state had a ziggurat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8v2vRlLL58&feature=related • Video on Sumer • What continuous contributions does the video discuss about the legacy of Sumer? • What was at the center of each City State? • What contributions did the Sumerians give to the world?
Sumerian social structure • Sumer became attractive to raiders for its wealth • This developed the need for a recognized military • By 3,000 b.c.e. all Sumerian cities had kings who claimed absolute authority • Most of the population was comprised of peasant farmers • Which tells you what about the civilization?
The Rise of the Babylonians The Akkadians and Babylonians of northern Mesopotamia soon overshadowed Sumer Led by Akkadian warrior Sargon, Mesopotamian city states merged into an empire until his death. Akkad was overrun by a new powerhouse, Babylon, under the leadership of its King, Hammurabi
Sargon the Great: ca. 2270 BC – 2215 BC Builds the FIRST empire known IN HISTORY!
Hammurabi’s Code activity • Groups of 3 • Each group has to skim through 50 different codes of Hammurabi • http://www.phillipmartin.info/hammurabi/hammurabi_codeindex.htm • Make a list of 10 different facts you can defer about Mesopotamian/Babylonian culture based on its laws • Consider values, social structure and level of punishment per offense
The Jeromeurabi Code Rules regarding homework Rules regarding attendance Rules regarding class work Rules regarding leaving the classroom Rules regarding group work Rules regarding writing assignments …
Babylon falls By 1500 b.c.e. the Hittites became the dominant force in Anotolia (Turkey), invading the riches of Mesopotamia Why? Because they used iron—a stronger metal than bronze. Enabled them to become a military powerhouse But good news travels fast… Enter the Assyrians
The Rise of the Assyrians Pretty extensive!
The Assyrians A military powerhouse Military dominated life in this culture Military rank based on merit rather than noble birth Also, good administration like Hammurabi Preserved literature
The Fall of the Assyrians • Too big to administer (this is a common theme through history!) • Internal strife • Assyrian empire began to collapse by 612 b.c.e. with the death of King Assurbanipal • Built first library • Maintained Mesopotamia’s literature (epic of Gilgamesh)
Nebuchadnezzer and the New Babylonian Empire Nebuchadnezzer rebuilt Babylon—canals, walls, temples, a defensive mote Built first great, illustrious city of the ancient world
Summary • Contributions of the Babylonians • Established first great ancient city • Contributions of the Hittites • Introduced ironworking • Contributions of the Assyrians • Founded the first library
The growing Persian Empire would soon encompass all of Mesopotamia Egypt Afghanistan