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Unit 1 Chapter 2 Section 1
Civilization Begins in
Mesopotamia
Pastoral Nomads
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Similar to Neolithic people
More settled
Utilized farming and domestication
Still traveled
Brought different technologies to different
groups
• More regional problems and conflicts
Terms to know
• Mesopotamia
– “Land between the
rivers”
• Tigris and the
Euphrates
• Fertile Crescent
Irrigation
• Diversion of water from its source to a new
desired location.
• Why?
• Mesopotamian soil
• Flooding
Religion
• Polytheism
– Belief in multiple Gods
• Monotheism
– Belief in one God
• Religion established to attempt to give
people justification and answers for why
things happen.
The Ziggurat
• The religious center
of the Mesopotamian
settlements.
• Inhabited by Priests
who spoke to the
Gods for the people.
• Served as the center
of town politically,
socially and
economically.
Who lives in the region?
• The Sumerians (more than 5,000 years
old)
– Gave us early refined social class system
(Nobles, Commoners and Slaves)
– City walls to defend the cities from outside
groups
– Scribe schools and the written language of
CUNEIFORM
– One of the earliest pieces of Literature
• THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH
Who lives in the region?
• The Akkadians
(approx. 4300 years
ago)
– Leader/Emperor –
SARGON
– One of the earliest
empires
Who lives in the region?
• The Assyrians (about 2000 BCE)
– Believed to have invented the first battering
ram
– Also devised an early form of relaying
messages through the empire
Who lives in the region?
• The Babylonians (roughly 3700 years ago)
– Leader – HAMMURABI
– Gave us one of the earliest sets of laws (THE
CODE OF HAMMURABI)
The Code of Hammurabi
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Developed by the Babylonians
Oldest known system of codified law
Written in Cuneiform, the written language of Mesopotamia
Origin of “Eye for an Eye”
Different punishments for different social classes.
“If any one steal the property of a temple or of the court, he shall be
put to death, and also the one who receives the stolen thing from
him shall be put to death.”
• “If any one steal cattle or sheep, or an ass, or a pig or a goat, if it
belong to a god or to the court, the thief shall pay thirtyfold; if they
belonged to a freed man of the king he shall pay tenfold; if the thief
has nothing with which to pay he shall be put to death.”
Activity 3
• Answer the following question using your
notes.
• Who was the leader of the Akkadians?
• Oh yeah, I forgot, answer it in Cuneiform…
The Approximate Cuneiform
Alphabet
Some of the Sumerian Innovations