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Mesopotamia
Chapter 2
Sections 1-2
I.) The Influence of Geography
Fertile Cresent was a ‘crossroads’
 Mesopotamia means ‘between the rivers’
 Villagers continually worked to control the
floods, but they could not – unstable
 The Epic of Gilgamesh (creation story
from earlier) was written in Mesopotamia
 Few natural resources; used clay and
bricks to build structures
 The
II.) Civilization in Sumerian Society
 Rulers
of city-states had to protect/defend
 Seen as the chief servant of the gods
 Distinct social hierarchy – system of
ranking groups
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High class – ruling family, officials, priests
Middle class – lesser priests, scribes,
merchants, artisans
Lower class - peasant farmers
III.) Sumerian Religion
– belief in many gods
 Ziggurat – large platform topped by a
temple dedicated to the city’s chief god
 Belief in the afterlife – it was a grim
afterlife
 Polytheistic
IV) Sumerian Technology
 Invented
writing by 3200 B.C. ; it was
called cuneiform (see page 33)
 Astronomers (see page 34)
 Number system based on our current
system
 Oral narratives (Epic of Gilgamesh)
 All passed down to future westerners and
invaders….and influence the world today!
Chapter 2, Section 2
King Hammurabi
King Hammurabi
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Received laws from the sun-god Shamash. (picture)
1711 to 1669 B.C = golden age of Babylon.
Babylon became the political capital of the East
Highly centralized government
Dedicated to the welfare of his people.
He is best known for his Law Code
Hammurabi’s Top Ten !!
 1.
Read Hammurabi’s Rule
 2. Read your agenda (rules section)
 3. Imagine Hammurabi is the new dean
(Mr. Wilgus)
 4. Write his top ten rules.
 5. Important things to consider –
retribution, class, specific consequences,
responsibility
Hammurabi, Continued
laws – codify = put in writing
 Civil law – rights, manners, contracts,
taxes, marriage, divorce, etc; husbands
have control, fathers have absolute power
 Criminal law – offenses against others
were punished in various ways;
encouraged social order
 Codified
Kingdom on the Nile
(Ch 2, Section 3)
 I)
Without the Nile, Egypt would be desert
 Nile protects Egypt from invasion
 Nile limits settlements
 “Black land” vs. “Red Land”
 Annual floods helped farmers
 Upper Egypt (Southern Egypt)
 Lower Egypt (Northern Egypt)
II ) Egyptian “Kingdoms”
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Old Kingdom
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Middle Kingdom
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Pharaohs rule by bureaucracy – a system of
government that includes levels of authority
The great pyramids are built
‘turbulent’ period
Egypt was ruled by the Hyksos
New Kingdom
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Conquered Nubia (Trading partner in the south)
Poweful rulers; Hatshepsut was female pharaoh
Group presentations!!
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1 - Chief Gods and Godesses
2 - A Pharaoh tries to reshape religion
3 - Proving oneself to Osiris
4 - Mummification and Tutankamen
5 - Most people were farmers
6 - Changes to Social Structure/Egyptian Women
7 - Keeping written records
8 - Clues of the Rosetta Stone
9 - Science and Mathematics
10 - Egyptian Arts
11 - Egyptian Literature
What’s in a Slide?
 Key
points, vocabulary
 Pictures !
 Use ONE source besides your book (talk
about it in your presentation!)
 Take notes during other presentations
Creation
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In the beginning, there was only chaos. This chaos was
named Apophis, he was a giant snake god.
Then there was a light a and this light was Re, he fought
back Apophis and settled Egypt; and so the sun and
Egypt were born.
Re then created the god of air-Shu, the god of the earthGeb and his wife Nut-goddess of the sky, he also
sculpted humans and placed them in the Nile valley so
they cold worship him.
Re was warned that one day a child of Nut and Geb
would over throw him( he was Egypt’s first pharaoh), so
he forbid them from having children on any day of the
year.
creation
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So nut went to the moon god, Khonosu she gambled
with him and each time she won he gave her a little
moon light she did this till she had enough to make 5
more days. Making the year 365 days long.
On these five days she gave birth to Isis, Osiris, Set,
Horus, and Nephthys.
King Tutankhamen
 Son
in law of Akhenaton
 Died and was mummified at 19
 Had birth defects such as malaria and a
bone disorder from incest
Mummification
 Took
70 days
 Is the preservation of dead bodies by
embalming them and wrapping them in
cloth
 Was discovered because of King Tut
 Started out with nobles and pharaohs
and then was used by ordinary
Egyptians
• Most Egyptians were peasant famers
• Their main crops were emmer wheat and barley
• Women also helped with farming along with
their husbands working for soil and repairing
the dikes
• During the off- season they were expected to
serve the pharaoh
• Cattle were raised for their milk and for their fattening and then
slaughtered for food, and they are also used for leather. Leather can be
used in products from sandals to military shields.
• The Nile flooded every year that made the land fertile. The farmers divided
the seasons into 3 rather than 4 according to the behavior of the Nile.
• The flood lasted from around June through September
• The water then drained out from October until February
• From then onto June it is “drought season”
http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/ED/TRC/EGYPT/farming.html
Dailey Life in Ancient Egypt- Chapter 5 “On the Farm”
Egyptian Women •Women could
inherit property, they could enter businesses, buy
and sell goods, and they could also go to court.
•They had a greater independence
•Most women were not able to learn to read and
write and even if they could they were not able to
become scribes.
•Egyptian sociEty was highly structurEd: a woman’s
social position was largely defined by the status of
hEr fathEr and husband. according to ‘maat’ thE
Egyptian view of the order of the universe, it was
dEfinitEly a man’s world.
Keeping Written Records
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What is a written record? A written record is a set of signs used to
represent units in a systematic way. Scribes often used
hieroglyphics.
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They wrote on papyrus or carved it into stone.
Hieroglyphics-was the
another si1st writing system
everyday
Hieratic- simpler script
for everyday
Demoticscript for
use
Rosetta
Stone
• Dates back to 196 B.C.
• A flat, black stone that has the same passage in
hieroglyphics, demonic script, and Greek.
• The meanings of Egyptian hieroglyphics was lost
until the 1800s when Jean Chamollion began to
decipher it.
• The name Ptolemy was found in all three texts,
thus the first hieroglyphics were discovered
• Stone was first used to uncover mysterious writings
on Egyptian monuments.
• The Egyptian language was meant to be difficult to
understand so the scribes could keep their jobs and
others could not master the language.
Science and Mathematics
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Egyptian physicians believed in various kinds of magic.
Doctors performed complex operations and prescribed plants and medicine
Egyptians developed a calendar that included 12 months and 30 days
Geometry was developed to survey the land and calculate the size of blocks to use for
building pyramids
Mathematics was developed to face important problems in ancient Egyptian lifestyle
Ancient Egyptians had a vast number system based on 10
10 – heel
100 – crook
1,000 – flower
10,000 - finger
100,000 – tadpole
The standard measurement used in ancient Egypt was a cubit (approximately 21 inches)
Egyptian Art
Statues, wall painting and tombs, and
carvings on temples. Paintings and
sculpture styles stayed the same for a
thousand years. Statues often showed
people in stiff poses. Some human
figures have animal heads that represent
special qualties.
Some show everyday scenes of
trade, farming, family life, for religious
ceremonies. Others boast of victories in
battle. Artists always presented gods and
pharoahs as much larger than other
figures.
Ancient Egyptian Literature
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Some of the oldest Egyptian literature includes: Hymns, prayers to gods, proverbs
and love poems.
They also recorded battles and through their victories they thought and recorded
themselves as superior.
They only seem to educate the high up in society, Artisans and Scribes. All
Egyptian people learned the importance of table manners even the women who weren’t
educated.
The three types of Egyptian writing are Hieratic, Hieroglyphic, Demotic.
Archeologist have found religious text in pyramids near the pharaohs tomb.
Akhenaton
 Ordered
priests to worship Aton (sun God)
 Tried to make religion monotheistic
 Ideas had little success
 Ordered workers to remove the names of
other gods from their temples
 Nobles deserted him because he
neglected his duty of defending the empire
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Osiris
According to mythology, Osiris ruled Egypt until
his jealous brother named Set kill him, cut him
up into pieces and scattered him all over Egypt.
Osiris’s wife Isis saved him by reassembling his
body which saved his life.
Now Osiris could no longer rule the living and
became god of the dead and judge of the souls
seeking admission to the after life.
In addition to ruling the underworld he also was
the god of the Nile. His role was to control the
annual flood which made the land fertile.
He is appeared to be a green skinned man who
dress like a pharaoh.
Proving yourself to Osiris
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The Egyptians believed that each soul had to pass judgment to win
eternal life after death.
First the dead would be ferried across a lake of fir to the hall of
Osiris.
Second the dead persons heard would be weighed against the
feather of truth to determine whether he was a good person or not.
Those that were judged as a sinner would be fed to the crocodileshaped Eater of the Dead.
The good souls would live in a happy field of food forever in bliss. To
survive this dangerous journey the Egyptians relied on the Book of
the Dead which contained spells, charms, and formulas for the dead
to use in the afterlife.