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Pages 110-117
Stretches from the Persian Gulf to the
Mediterranean Sea
Located between the Tigris and Euphrates
Very hot and dry climate with little rainfall.
Indo-European Migrations: 4m2m BCE
The Middle East: “The Crossroads of Three
The Ancient Fertile Crescent
The Middle East: “The Cradle of Civilization”
Although the land was dry, the land had very
fertile soil (due to the Tigris and Euphrates
Rivers) all throughout the Fertile Crescent, which
includes Mesopotamia (present day Iraq).
 Contribution: Irrigation- Sumerians used
technology to supply water from the rivers to
their crops.
 Created new tools to help make farming faster
and easier such as seed funnels attached to their
Independent state that includes a city and its
surrounding territory.
Developed because cities were separated by
long stretches of desert land.
Each city-state would barter with the others
to supply their needs.
Sumerian city-states had their own
government, laws, and their own main god
City-States were centers of trade for the area
Traders traveled long distances to bring back supplies
Important discovery in Sumer was bronze and could
be used to make better tools and weapons.
 Trading systems were based on bartering
 Imports: wood/lumber, metal ores, precious stones
 Exports: barley, wheat, dates, cloth
Rivers were the main road way for traders
 Barges
 Carts with wheels
 Sailing ships
3 classes
 Upper class
Top officials
Powerful priests
Wealthy merchants
Owners of large plots of land
 Middle class
▪ Farmers
▪ Skilled workers
 Lower class
▪ slaves
Polytheism- Belief in more than one god.
Each city state would have their own gods and
They believed that they had to keep their gods
happy or bad things would happen
Sumerians believed only the priest could
communicate with the gods
Ziggurats- Sumerian temples that were large
pyramid shape buildings to honor their gods.
Priest lived in and ran the temples, including the
farmland attached to the temples
Ziggurat at Ur
 Temple
 “Mountain
the Gods”
Sumerian Religion Polytheistic
Contribution: Cuneiform- system of writing
that uses triangular- shaped symbols to stand
for ideas or things. (pressing wedge shapes
into clay tablets)
Bases for other writing systems throughout
Used for record sales, taxes, and agreements
but later used for stories as well.
Cuneiform: “Wedge-Shaped”
Cuneiform Writing
Deciphering Cuneiform
Sumerian Scribes
“Tablet House”
Sumerian Cylinder Seals
In early days, priest would select the leader of a
city-state to lead the warriors into battle; after
the battle then the leader was expected to give
up his power, some did not
 Military leaders would become the first kings.
 Kings had to work with the priest to make sure
they are pleasing the gods.
 In Sumer kings were selected by the gods
though the priest
 Priest and Kings worked together to create
religious ceremonies that supported royal power
Took over many jobs once held by the priest
 Hired workers for temple, road, and canal building
 Served as city’s chief lawmaker
▪ Created codes of law
▪ 1st known – Ur-Nammu Law Code
 Laws about marriage, slavery, causing harm to others
 Judge
Sophisticated Metallurgy
at Ur
The Royal Standard of
Section 1 Quiz
The term Mesopotamia refers to
which two rivers?
a. Danube and Euphrates
b. Nile and Danube
c. Mississippi and Tigris
d. Tigris and Euphrates
Another term for a city and the
surrounding land it controls is
a. city-state.
b. empire.
c. kingdom.
d. nation-state.
The laws written by Ur-Nammu
are an example of
a. a law code.
b. national control.
c. a priestly text.
d. a religious text.
Which of the following is a type
of building?
a. Gilgamesh
b. pictographs
c. polytheism
d. ziggurat
Cuneiform is a type of
a. clay tablet.
b. mathematics.
c. writing.
d. wedge.
Pages 118-123
Sumerian kings struggled for power and caused
city-state to fight city-state
During this struggle a new society arose in
Mesopotamia – Akkadia (Akkadian people),
 they spoke a different language and had different
customs from the Sumerians
Their king was Sargon, he took control of a
Sumerian city-state called Kish
He placed loyal followers in positions of power and
his own daughter as a priestess in Ur
He united much of Mesopotamia under his rule
creating the first empire – Akkadian Empire (for
over 50 years Sargon ruled)
Used cuneiform writing
Had similar religious practices as the
Traded with people as far away as the Indus
Valley (present day Pakistan)
Akkadian Empire fell 100 years after Sargon’s
death, back to the Sumerians under the rule
of Ur-Nammu
Sargon of Akkad:
The World’s First Empire
Ur-Nammu took back the Sumer empire from
the Akkadians only to have the same issues
Ur was destroyed by rebels from the east
Sumerian City-state began fighting again
with other city-states
Many groups invaded Sumer one was
Amorites fro the north
They took control of several Sumerian cities
including Babylon
In 1792 B.C. -Hammurabi became king of
 Over 30 years he worked to solidify his power
and build his army
 Through a series of attacks on Mesopotamian
city-states he was able to unite much of the
south under his rule.
 Contribution- Hammurabi’s Code- set of laws
that governed life in the Babylonian empire.
 Babylon was the crossroads in trade because it
was the center of the Mesopotamian cities.
Mesopotamian Trade
“The Cuneiform
Mesopotamian Harp
Board Game From Ur
The Babylonian Empires
[r. 1792-1750 B. C. E.]
Hammurabi, the Judge
300 laws that were written down and organized to govern society
crimes such as robbery and murder
Business contract
It set specific punishments for the various crimes
Ex: “If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out.”
These harsh punishments encouraged social order
Different social classes received different punishments
 Ex: if you harmed someone from your own class then harsh punishment
was given, if other person in lower class than lighter punishment was given
Lives revolved around agriculture
 Growing and distribution of food
 Clear of canals for irrigation
 Collecting wool and creating textiles (cloth)
Trading in the cities
 Stone and bronze sculptures
 Gold and precious stone jewelry
Babylonian Math
Babylonian Numbers
After the death of Hammurabi the empire
collapsed in 1750 B.C.
Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Empires
Section 2 Quiz
A state containing several
countries or territories is called a(n)
a. city-state.
b. empire.
c. region.
d. ally.
Sargon created the world’s
first empire by conquering
a. Hammurabi’s empire.
b. Babylonian territory.
c. Zagros warriors.
d. Mesopotamian city-states.
The laws that Hammurabi
issued are called Hammurabi’s
a. Code.
b. Demands.
c. Justice.
d. Laws.
Who was responsible for
making Babylon the center of the
Mesopotamian empire?
a. the king of Umma
b. Sargon
c. Hammurabi
d. Ur-Nammu
The Akkadians’ and Sumerians’
use of the cuneiform system of writing is
an example of a shared
a. rule of law.
b. cultural trait.
c. government.
d. language
Pages 124-131
Assyrians became fierce warriors due to the
constant attacks from invaders after the fall
of Babylonia
Assyria’s army had the world’s earliest
cavalry, used iron weapons (a skilled learned
from the Hittites of Asia Minor) and tools
Built large and strong military state mid 800s
B.C. (within 200 years it was an empire)
From Persian Gulf in north, throughout the
Fertile Crescent and southwest into Egypt
Was divided into 70 smaller units called
provinces to be governed by a governor that
reported to the King Ashurbanipal
King built a library and filled it with cuneiform
 Text and letters from Sumer and Babylonia on
law, literature, mathematics, and science
 20,000 of these tablets survived to present day
After King Ashurbanipal’s death civil war and
enemy attacks weakened the Assyrian
In 604 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar II, became king
of Babylon
He stretched his power and kingdom (NeoBabylonian) to
 Egypt
 Captured Jerusalem – destroying many Jewish
 Built great walls, gates, and temples
▪ Most famous is the Hanging Gardens of Babylon
By 539 B.C., Babylon and the rest of
Mesopotamia fell under the control of the
Persian Empire
By 550 B.C. Cyrus the Great led the Persians
to victory over the Medes (the group that
ruled the Persians from the North)
Cyrus had won a large empire and began dreaming of
an even larger one
He began in Asia Minor and took present day Turkey
and pushed south to Ionia (led by the Greeks)
He had a permanent army of 10,000 elite soldiers
known as the “Immortals”
Babylon grew into the wealthiest province in the
Persian empire
He treated his people well and allowed them to keep
their own customs (allowed the Jewish people back
into Jerusalem)
He died in battle in 530 B.C.
After Cyrus’s death – his son Cambyses II took power
Moved troops into NE Africa and conquered Egypt
Traveled South to capture Kush – but failed
Marched on with his Persian army into desert; soldiers
had to kill their pack animals for food many died
before Cambyses II gave up this march
 Darius took the throne by force after Cambyses’s
 Persia continued to grow larger – ruled to the east in
the Indus Valley
Persia had many cultures within its empire
Darius allowed local people some control
over their own government
 He divided his empire into Satrapies (Provinces)
and gave each a leader
 Each leader selected local laws, traditions, and
were allowed to make decisions for their area
 Each Satrapies had to pay a tribute based off its
wealth to Darius – using gold coin currency
Darius built roads across the empire for trade
and travel
1,500 mile long Great Royal Road for the
postal stations
Around 600 BC, a Persian man named Zoroaster
taught that there was one supreme god Ahura Mazda
His teachings brought about the religion of
Zoroastrianism- the official religion of Persian empire
Sacred text was Avesta – included prayers, hymns,
and writings
Central belief – universe is in a state of struggle
between good an evil and all must work for good
Existence of afterlife
Latter influenced Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
Carved stone seals – showed owners mark
Sculptures of humans
Relief sculptures – scenes sculpted on walls,
columns, stele
Hammurabi’s Code – was a placed on a stele
in the center of the city
Assyrians created large colorful reliefs on the
sides of buildings
 Ishtar Gate
Section 3 Quiz
What do cavalry soldiers do?
a. fire cannons
b. fix chariots
c. march in formation
d. ride horses
What was a new technology used
by the Assyrians?
a. farming
b. glass blowing
c. ironwork
d. resettling conquered peoples
What is a permanent force of
professional soldiers called?
a. charioteers
b. “the Immortals”
c. special forces
d. standing army
Payment made to show
loyalty to a stronger power is
a. a seal.
b. taxes.
c. tribute.
d. currency.
What is a stele?
a. a cylinder seal
b. colorful tiles
c. a stone slab
d. a ziggurat garden
Pages 132-137
Fearless sailors the traded goods through ocean
Phoenician society developed from earlier
Canaanites (lived in present day – Israel, Jordan,
Lebanon, Syria)
Egypt had a large influence on Canaan, they
even controlled part of it till around 1150 BC
Rulers of Phoenician city –states were
Priest/Kings shared power with leading
merchant families and a citizen assembly
Geography – Lebanon Mountains (heavy
forest) form the eastern border; little flat land
for farming; Mediterranean Sea to the west
Export products – weavers of cloth made with
a rare purple dye made from tiny sea snails;
pottery, glass, metal objects; wood furniture;
pine and cedar logs; wine; olive oil; fish; salt
Import products – raw materials (gold, silver,
tin, copper, iron, ivory, precious stones)
Expert navigators – wind patterns and ocean
Thought to be the first people to use the
North star to guide their voyages
Traveled along the North African coast,
around the Mediterranean Sea, through the
tip of Iberia and into the Atlantic Ocean and
up to the British coast
Phoenician sailors set up colonies in coastal inlets
where fertile soil was found
After the Assyrians attack in the 800s BC, many
Phoenicians moved to the colonies
A few colonies developed into wealthy city-states _
Carthage on the North African coast
Greece and Rome absorbed key elements of
Phoenician culture through cultural diffusion
Helped with the spread of ideas throughout this
Alphabet – before the Phoenicians cuneiform
was the written language, they developed an
alphabet of small letter sets and symbols (22
total) – consonant sounds
Greeks added to this alphabet – vowels
Romans made more changes and the result
was similar to what we have today
Section 4 Quiz
The goods made and shipped by
Phoenicians to other lands are called
a. tribute.
b. resources.
c. exports.
d. imports.
Goods brought into a country
are called
a. exports.
b. imports.
c. natural resources.
d. raw materials.
Fertile land that attracted
farmers grew into
a. trade routes.
b. colonies.
c. city-states.
d. territories.
What city was originally a
a. Rome
b. Athens
c. Carthage
d. Sumer
The Phoenicians developed
a new way of writing known as
a. an alphabet.
b. a glyph system.
c. cuneiform.
d. wedge shapes.