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Elena García Marín
Four early River Valley Civilizations
Mesopotamian Civilization - Tigris & Euphrates Rivers
Egyptian Civilization - Nile River
Indian Civilization - Indus River
Ancient China - Huang He (Yellow) River
Sumerian Civilization:Tigris & Euphrates Rivers
City-States in Mesopotamia
Geography of Mesopotamia
Mostly dry desert climate in SW Asia
(Middle East) Except in region between
Tigris and Euphrates rivers
A flat plain known as Mesopotamia lies
between the two rivers
It is called the Fertile Crescent because
have a rich soil
SW Asia
(the Middle East)
City-States in Mesopotamia
Although all the cities shared the same culture
Each city had its own government, rulers, warriors,
it’s own patron god, and functioned like an
independent country
Mesopotamian cities were Ur, Uruk, Kish, Lagesh
At center of each city was the temple: a ziggurat (a
massive, tiered, pyramid-shaped structure).
The Ziggurat at Ur was first excavated by British archaeologist
Woolley in 1923.
Mesopotamian religion
They believed in many gods - polytheism
Mesopotamian warrior-god, gold figurine.
(2.400-2.500 B.C.)
Marduk, the Dragon god
King and nobility
Craftsmen and Peasants
First Empire in Mesopotamia
3000 – 2000 B.C. the City-States began to war
with each other.
Sargon of Akkad (2350 B.C.) He took control
of the region, creating world’s first empire when several peoples, nations, or previously
independent states are placed under the
control of one ruler.
The Akkadian Empire lasted about 200 years, 2350–
2150 B.C.
Babylonian Empire
They overtook Sumerians around 2000 B.C.
And they built capital, Babylon, on Euphrates river
The most famous king of Babylonian Empire was
Hammurabi [1792-1750 B.C.]
Famous Code of Law
“the punishment
fits the crime” and
“eye for an eye”
He took all the laws of the region’s city-states and
unified them into one code. This helped unify the
Mesopotamian culture
One of the first writing systems - Cuneiform
Mesopotamian culture
The Epic of Gilgamesh is, perhaps, the oldest
written story on Earth. It is about the adventures
of the cruel King Gilgamesh of Uruk.
It contains a “flood story” that predates the
Hebrew Old Testament story of Noah by at least
2000 years.
It was written on 12 clay tablets in cuneiform