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Ancient Mesopotamia Study Guide 1. What does the name Mesopotamia mean? It means the “land between two rivers” in Greek. 2. Why did they build canals in Mesopotamia? They needed a way to control the flooding rivers. 3. Why did city-states want farmland? They wanted the farmland so they could grow more food. 4. Describe Sargon’s empire. He was the first emperor. He created a permanent army. He expanded his empire by conquering Mesopotamia from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea. 5. Why were priests important? Priests were important because people relied on them to help gain god’s favor by performing religious ceremonies. They interpreted offerings. 6. Describe the ancient Sumerian writing system. Cuneiform: the very first form of writing. Using pictograms (wedge-shaped symbols) not the alphabet. 7. What was a ziggurat? What is its’ purpose? Pyramid-shaped tower. Built tall so they could reach the gods. 8. What technology did the Hittites and Assyrians use in battle? Iron weapons and chariots. 9. What are the Phoenicians known for? Alphabet Trading indigo(purple dye), cedar trees, silverwork, glass objects, ivory carvings, slaves. 10. When did hunter-gatherers settle in Mesopotamia? Around 12,000 years ago. 11. What is irrigation? The artificial watering of farmland. 12. Define division of labor. The type of arrangement in which each worker specializes in a particular task job. 13. Explain the social pyramid in Sumer. Kings Priests Craftspeople, merchants, and traders Farmers and laborers Slaves 14. How did religion influence society in Sumer? Religion was important. Stay on the gods good side. Polytheism (worship of many gods). Each city-state had one god as a protector. Priests were important. 15. Who was Hammurabi? Why was he important? Hammurabi was the monarch of Babylon. Created Hammurabi’s Code---the first written law 282 laws written on an 8ft tablet in the middle of Babylon for all to see.