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Society and Religion
Analyze This Picture
With Your Neighbor, Think About This…
•What does this Image say about
Mesopotamian Society?
•Based on the Image, What might life be like for
the people at the top of the Image?
•What might life be like for the people at the
bottom of the Image?
Key Terms
•Cuneiform: The system of writing used by
the ancient Sumerians
•Scribe: A person paid to write, especially
in ancient times
•Stylus: A hard, pointed writing tool cut
from a reed
Key Terms
•Ziggurat: The temples of Mesopotamia. At
the top of each Ziggurat there were
“Shrines” where the King and the Priests
would stay.
•Poly: Many
•Theism: A belief in the existance of a God or
From Journey Through History Questions
• How did people trade with each other
and pay taxes long ago?
••What is life like as a trader in
••Why was writing important in
•• Describe the Epic of Gilgamesh.
•• Is this story like any other story you’ve ever
Epic of Gilgamesh
•Describe the Epic of Gilgamesh.
•Is this story like any other story you’ve
ever heard?
Comprehension Questions
•1) The major cities of ancient
Mesopotamia were located
•A) in the Zagros Mountains
•B) on the Persian Gulf coast
•C) along the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers
•D) in the eastern part of present-day Syria
Comprehension Questions
•2) What is the name of the earliest piece
of written literature that still survives
•A) The Epic of Gilgamesh
•B) The Elegy for Enkidu
•C) The Ode to Ishtar
•D) The Ballad of the Babylonian Wars
Comprehension Questions
• 3) Which statement best describes slavery in ancient
• A) In ancient Mesopotamia, all slaves belonged to
one specific ethnic group.
• B) In ancient Mesopotamia, only people at the top of
the social pyramid were allowed to own slaves.
• C) In ancient Mesopotamia, an individual could
become a slave in one of several different ways.
• D) In ancient Mesopotamia, a person could only
become a slave if captured during a war.
Comprehension Questions
• 4) A Mesopotamian government official is jealous of the
power and attention bestowed upon the king, and the
official wants to damage the status and influence of the king.
• Based on Mesopotamian religious beliefs, which action
would have been most effective in damaging the influence of
the king?
• A) encouraging temple priests to distribute the gods’ grain to
poor people
• B) paying criminals to deface statues of the king located in
public places
• C) calling into question the gods’ approval of the king’s
• D) sabotaging construction of the king’s burial tomb