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City-State A city and its surrounding areas (often farms) that ruled itself and functioned like a country does today. Cultural Diffusion The process in which a new idea or product spreads from one culture to another. Ziggurat Center of Sumerian cities was walled temple used as a worship place and city hall. Dynasty Series of rulers from a single family. Hammurabi’s Code Harsh rules and punishments used in Babylonia (Mesopotamia). Monsoon Seasonal Winds. Silt Great soil left behind by floods. Polytheism Belief in more than one god. Monotheism Belief in one God. Cuneiform Early Mesopotamian form of writing. Hieroglyphics Early Egyptians form of writing.