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The Development of
Agriculture - Causes
The Last Ice Age ended
Meat spoiled quickly
In warm weather
Large game animals
died out
Food became scarce
People relied on more plant foods
for survival
Development of Agriculture: People began to plant
seeds and to live in permanent settlements to protect
their crops
People began to
domesticate animals
The Development of
Agriculture - Effects
Farming settlements grew
Into villages
Villages practiced division of labor, enabling some workers to
specialize in useful crafts and develop new technology
Productivity rose
Life was made more
easier and comfortable
Demand for
goods led to an
increase in trade
acquired more
goods; the idea
of private
property started
 Neolithic Revolution – shift from hunting and
gathering to own production of food
(agriculture) – 8000 B.C.
 Domestication of animals and grains
 Rise of villages dependent on agriculture (Jericho,
Israel and Catal Hüyük, Turkey are a few of the
 Technological advances – the loom for
weaving, bricks for building, & advanced
 Warfare from competition for land & water
5 Traits of a Civilization
 Specialization of labor (from surplus of
 Record keeping with a written language
 Complex institutions – government, social
hierarchy, religion
 Advanced technology
 Advanced cities
The Sumerians
Unit 1
The Fertile Crescent
 Parts of Israel,
Jordan, Lebanon,
Turkey, Syria, and
 Tigris and Euphrates
 Eastern part was
called Mesopotamia
(land between the
Tigris & Euphrates Rivers
 Did not provide a regular
supply of water, but flooded
 Caused destruction – swept
away villages & fields
 Mesopotamians cooperated
to control floodwaters –
built dams, escape
channels, canals, & ditches
 Hardly any rain in summer
– led to water shortages
 Easy to invade (no natural
barriers) – led to constant
Sumerian Civilization
 Came from Central Asia or
Asia Minor (were IndoEuropeans)
 Settled in the lower part of
Fertile Crescent – a.k.a.
 Birthplace of cities
 Created 12 city-states
Including Ur, Uruk, & Eridu
 Science: astronomy,
calendar (aided
Sumerian City-States
 Population ranged from
20,000 to 250,000
 Shared a common
 Built ziggurats for
religious purposes –
dedicated to chief deity
of the city
 Trading contacts with the
rest of Mesopotamia and
the Indus Valley
Sumerian Government
 Competition for land
and water rights with
foreign invaders led
to the development
of a monarchy (king)
 King was a religious
& political leader
 King enforced law
and set penalties
(usually a fine)
Sumerian Culture
 Men and women had
different roles
 Men – could sell wife and
children to pay a debt;
could divorce easily
 Women – could buy and
sell property; operate own
businesses; own slaves
 Developed cuneiform – 1st
writing system in the world
Epic poem – Gilgamesh story of a
godlike man who performs heroic
 Invented fertilizer & silver
Sumerian Culture
 Practiced polytheism
 Most were farmers
 Had one chief god for each
 Gods were unpredictable,
angry, & selfish
 Invented wagon wheel,
arch, ramp, potter’s wheel,
sail, & plow
 Developed a number
system based on 10,60, &
360 (for degrees in circles)
and 12 month lunar
Famous Leaders
 Sargon I – built the
Akkadian Empire by
uniting all of the
Mesopotamian citystates (predated
 Hammurabi –
completed a law
code of 282 sections
Hammurabi’s Law Code
 Dealt with most
aspects of daily life
 Penalized
wrongdoers with an
“eye for an eye, and
a tooth for a tooth”
 Protected the less
powerful & property
 Laws varied
according to class
Problems & Solutions in the Citystates of Mesopotamia
1. Unpredictable flooding
led to dry summer
months; farmers suffer
2. With no natural barriers,
villagers couldn’t protect
3. Limited natural resources
4. Conflicts between
people, organization
needed, & defenseless
5. The gods are angry
1. Irrigation
2. Build city walls
w/mud bricks
3. Trade grain, cloth, &
tools for products
they lacked
4. Give military leaders
permanent control;
set up dynasties
5. Build ziggurats and
offer food & wine to
the gods; sacrifices
Examples of Sumerian
1. Religion
2. Literature
3. Architecture
4. Inventions
1. polytheism, believed
different gods
controlled forces of
2. The Epic of
3. Ziggurats, arches,
columns, ramps
4. Wheel, sail, plow,
cuneiform, number