Early Civilizations Mesopotamia Map of Mesopotamia Geography of Mesopotamia Mesopotamia means: – “the land between the rivers”. Tigris and Euphrates Rivers Modern day Iraq Fertile Crescent – From the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf Fertile soil – Silt deposits, but little rain fall – Flooding – Irrigation and drainage ditches Agriculture is only made possible through irrigation – Bases for a civilization Constant warfare The Fertile Crescent The Sumerians and City-States First to create civilizations. Early City States began in 3000 BC. – Eridu, Ur, Uruk, Umma, and Lagash Cities were surrounded by walls. Mud bricks used to build. – Very limited wood or stone. – Stilled used today in the Middle East. Walled City The Sumerians and City States Temples were the most important structures. – Gods ruled the cities. – Kings received power from the gods. Economy was mostly agriculture. – Religious, political, and economic center. Also included textiles, pottery, and metal work. Trade with eastern Mediterranean and India. 3 major social groups: 1. Nobles 2. Commoners 3. Slaves Culture of Mesopotamia Cuneiform Writing System. – Wedge-shaped writing. – Helped educated the people. – Recorded history. The Epic of Gilgamesh on a stone tablet Cuneiform Writing Culture of Mesopotamia Mathematics. – Included geometry. – Based on units of 60. Astronomy. 12-month Calendar. Culture of Mesopotamia Sumerian art work. Helmet Harp Board Game Religion of Mesopotamia Theocracy – “religion rules politics”. – Everything was linked to the gods. Polytheistic gods. – Au was the god of sky. – Enil was the god of wind. – Enki was the god of earth and water. – Niuhurgage was the god of soil, mountains, & vegetation. Man was created to work for the gods. Divination – “inspired by the gods” Enki Religion of Mesopotamia Ziggurat – “temple to the gods”. Artist’s depiction of the ziggurat at Ur Modern day picture of what is left of the ziggurat at Ur. Empires of Mesopotamia Constant wars occurred throughout Mesopotamia’s history. Akkadians create the first empire. – Took control in 2340 BC. – Led by Sargon Warring city-states returned in 2100 BC. – Short lived return of Sumerian rule. Empires of Mesopotamia Hammurabi created a new empire in 1792 BC. – Created a new capital in Babylon. – Ended Sumerian politics. – Did not survive after his death. Empires of Mesopotamia The Babylonian Empire The Code of Hammurabi Strict laws. Punishment was severe. – Severity depended on your social class. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. Consumer laws. Land and trade laws. Civil laws. Marriage and family laws. – Largest category of laws. – Marriages were arranged.