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Mesopotamia: Land Between Two Rivers

Mesopotamia: Land Between Two Rivers. Hot & Dry Very Harsh Intense Rainstorms Temperatures often above 100 degrees Fahrenheit Would be a desert if not for the rivers. Climate. Instructions. Student Handout: The Fertile Crescent. Greek word that means “between two rivers”

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Mesopotamia: Land Between Two Rivers

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  1. Mesopotamia: Land Between Two Rivers

  2. Hot & Dry Very Harsh Intense Rainstorms Temperatures often above 100 degrees Fahrenheit Would be a desert if not for the rivers. Climate

  3. Instructions • Student Handout: The Fertile Crescent

  4. Greek word that means“between two rivers” It refers to theTigris & the Euphrates Rivers. These two rivers flow into thePersian Gulf. One of the world’s earliest civilizations that existed between 5000-539 B.C.E. Present dayIraq Eastern part of the Fertile Crescent The northern part was referred to as Akkad and the southern part was Sumer. Irrigation (series of canals) made farming possible in this dry land. Many floods, which carried great amount of silt allowed the soil to be constantly replenished. Geography

  5. Levees • People were attracted to Mesopotamia Area because of the natural levees that occurred along the Euphrates River. • Natural levees are embankments produced by the sediment that builds up after thousands of years of flooding. • The levee surface slopes gently downward away from the river. • Aside from protection, the silt and sediment was fertile, easily drained, planted, irrigated and cultivated.

  6. Increased cultivated land… Increase in food production, therefore, population increased. • It was in this region that humans first abandoned their nomadic lifestyle and built permanent settlements. • Mesopotamia was not a single civilization or culture. • It was an area that was composed of several independent city-states, each with its own religion, laws, language and government.

  7. The Sumerians • The first group to inhabit Mesopotamia.

  8. The Sumerians • 4000 B.C.E. • They lived in southern Mesopotamia in a number of independent city-states. • Each consisted of a small city and its surrounding area. • The rulers of these city-states constantly were at war with one another.

  9. The Sumerians • They used money, which made individuals wealthy. • The head of the military would become King. • War leaders evolved into hereditary rulers.

  10. Social Structure

  11. The Royal Standard of Ur

  12. Ziggurat • In the center of each city was a temple that housed the city’s gods. • A ziggurat was a step pyramid that was a religious temple. • They were polytheistic, which means they believed in many gods. • They believed that the gods controlled every aspect of nature and everyday life • It was vital to obey the gods and keep them happy with daily offerings or the gods would send wars, floods, & diseases to punish the people. • The priest was the only one allowed in ziggurats; therefore, he was very important.

  13. Ziggurat at Ur • Temple • “Mountain of the Gods”

  14. Cuneiform • The earliest writing was based on pictograms, which were used to communicate information about taxes and crops. • Ancient Sumerian record keepers marked pictographic symbols in soft pieces of clay with a pointed reed. The clay tablets were then baked to make them hard. • Overtime, writing was changed into ascriptcalledcuneiform. • Cuneiform means wedged shaped, because the marks in the clay were wedges. • Not everyone learned to read and write. The ones that were picked by the gods were calledscribes. Boys that were chosen to become scribes (professional writers) began to study at the age of 8. They finished when they were 20 yearsold.

  15. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vglAeKfm2XA&feature=related

  16. Sumerian Scribes “Tablet House”

  17. Deciphering Cuneiform

  18. Cuneiform Thewheel, which was first used for pottery and then the 1st wheeled vehicles. They developed a number system based on the unit60. They divided thehourinto 60 minutes and the circle into360degrees. They also developed basic algebra and geometry. The water clock. The 12month calendar The plow The Sailboat Inventions

  19. Royal Tombs of Ur • From 1922 to 1934, an archaeologist named C. Leonard Woolley excavated the site of the ancient Sumerian city of Ur • City famed in Bible as the home of patriarch Abraham • Many great discoveries such as extravagant jewelry of gold, cups of gold and silver, bowls of alabaster, and extraordinary objects of art and culture • Opened the world's eyes to the full glory of ancient Sumerian culture Great Death Pit • Found at Ur was a mass grave containing the bodies of 6 guards and68 court ladies(servants of kings and queens) • servants walked down into the grave in a great funeral procession • they drank a  poisoned  drink and fell asleep never to wake again, choosing to accompany the kings and queens in the afterlife

  20. Board Game From Ur

  21. Musical Instrument

  22. Mesopotamian Harp

  23. The Akkadians

  24. The Akkadians • They were from the Arabian Peninsula. • They were Semitic people. They spoke Semitic language related to languages similar to Arabic & Hebrew. • They formed their own country called Akkad. • Sargon Iconquered the Sumerians in about 2500 B.C.E. He united Akkad & Sumer into a nation called the Kingdom of Sumer. • They adopted much of the Sumerian Culture. They had many clashes with the Sumerians.

  25. Sargon of Akkad unified: The World’s First Empire

  26. The Babylonians

  27. The Babylonians • Henry Rawlinsonof England helped find the key to understanding the Babylonian Language. • About 1790 B.C.E.King Hammurabiconquered city-states in the Tigris-Euphrates valley and formed the Babylonian Empire • Adapted and built upon the Sumerian Culture. • Recorded their laws and customs in the Code of Hammurabi, which was the1st major collection of laws. • Believed in astrology and recorded data later essential toastronomy.They also made horoscopes. • Scribesbecame leading citizens, as they were educated. • Practices polytheism. Marduk = God of Earth & Anu = God of Heavens • Developed a 12 month calendar with354days.

  28. Babylonian Math

  29. Babylonian Numbers

  30. Babylonians

  31. The Code of Hammurabi • The 282 laws were engraved in stone and placed in a public location for everyone to see. • Hammurabi required that people be responsible for their actions. • Some of Hammurabi’s laws were based on the principle“An eye of an eye, a tooth for a tooth”This means that whoever commits an injury should be punished in the same manner as that injury. • An example, would be if a son slapped his father, the son’s hand would be cut off. • The code did distinguish betweenclassesof people. A person’s punishment would depend on who was wronged. • Consequences for crimes depended on rank in society (ie. only fines fornobility)

  32. Hammurabi’s [r. 1792-1750 B. C. E.] Code

  33. Hammurabi, the Judge

  34. Code of Hammurabi • http://www.youtube.com/user/AllHistories#p/search/0/oDALXORbtR4 (First two minutes)

  35. Below are situations Hammurabi faced.  Decide what you think to be a fair way to deal with the problem.

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