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Chapter 3 Mesopotamia Mesopotamia Mesopotamia Turkey Israel Iraq Egypt Saudi Arabia Around 15,000 B.C., people began migrating. Why? People began migrating in search of… •Water •Land •Fertile soil •Climate Also… about 15,000 B.C., farming began to evolve. Where did this “revolution” begin? Tigris & Euphrates Rivers Indus River Nile River Huang He River Section 1 The Rise of Sumer The Fertile Crescent The Fertile Crescent • Area of land in SW Asia • Fertile because of rivers: Tigris & Euphrates • Little rainfall • Must irrigate crops Mesopotamia •Greek: Meso – between +Pot – river “land between the rivers” • Located between Tigris & Euphrates • Present day Iraq • “Cradle of Civilization” The Rise of Sumer • Earliest known civilization • Located in Mesopotamia • People built up natural levees higher to control flooding • Built canals and used them to irrigate crops • Crops included: barley (chief crop), wheat, sesame, flax, fruit, dates 5 Characteristics of Civilization • Food Surplus • Specialization of Labor • Government • Social Classes • Signs of Culture Ur – Food Surplus • Grew crops using irrigation • Used surplus to trade for other goods • Ur was major center for trade and commerce Specialization of Labor • Houses made of mud and crushed reed bricks (no stone or timber available) • City was surrounded by wall Government • Made laws • City-states: city and farmland around it • Priests ran city-states Signs of Culture • Religion • Language • Dress • Customs • Social Classes Religion • Ziggurat – temple in the middle of each Sumerian city • Ziggurat – “mountain of god” or “hill of heaven” • Only priest entered ziggurats Religious Beliefs • Forces of nature were gods • Humans were created from mud of rivers to serve gods • Only priest knew will of became very gods powerful. • Priests……… Social Classes •Upper Class •Middle Class •Lower Class Upper Class • Houses in center of city • Priests and merchants • Priests controlled land, schools, etc. • Only rich males could go to school Priest makes account of supplies Middle Class • Houses outside upper class houses • Government officials, shop keepers, artisans (skilled workers) Lower Class • Houses outside middle class • Farmers, unskilled workers, fishermen Sumerian Schools •Called tablet houses •Students were taught to write cuneiform Cuneiform • Sumerian writing using hundreds of markings shaped in wedges • Writing was developed to keep track of business dealings • Students became scribes (writers) in the temple, palace, government, army, for merchants ,or became public writers Cuneiform Pictures to represent objects Pictures to represent ideas Pictures to represent syllables The Round School Tablet from the Babylonian city of Nippur during Hammurabi Dynasty The Philadelphia Tablet found near Baghdad, Iraq 3100-2900 B.C. Vargy’s monogram http://www.upennmuseum.com/cuneiform.cgi Women’s Rights • Women could…. …buy and sell land …run businesses …buy and sell slaves • Women could… …be divorced …be sold or rented for 3 Priests or Kings? • Sumerian priests were kings over city-states • Received advice from an assembly • In time of war, city-state would choose a military leader • About 3,000 B.C., this military leader took the place of priests as permanent kings. • Kingship became hereditary (passed on from parent to child) Gilgamesh of Uruk • Famous priest-king • Story written about 1700 B.C. • Gilgamesh searches for a way to live forever after the death of his friend Enkidu.