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The Fertile Crescent Empires: The
As the Babylonian Empire
Declined, other civilizations
prospered around the Fertile
Nomadic tribes from the mountains
and deserts moved into the region
as well
Tribes battled each other for land
Power and control passed from
one group to the next
The Indo-Europeans
were one of the tribes
who invaded Mesopotamia
Each of these tribes spoke
a related language
Indo-Europeans came
from the Steppes, or
grasslands north of the
Black Sea. They left the
area because of possible
drought, social conflict, or
lack of resources
Hittite Military
The Hittites were a
warlike IndoEuropean tribe
They settled in Asia
Minor (modern day
Turkey) around 2000
They conquered the
area and created a
strong empire
Why was their Military successful?
Horse-drawn war chariot; it
was heavy and slow, but powerful
At that time most chariots only
had two soldiers, but the Hittites
held three soldiers (i.e., one man
drove, a second fought, and a
third held shields)
This allowed them to get closer in
This allowed them to expand
their empire beyond Asia Minor
In 1595 BCE, they destroyed
Babylon fell to the Kassites, who
ruled the area for nearly 400
Hittite Culture
The Hittites, much like the Akkadians
and Babylonians, blended their culture
with the cultures around them
They used Sumerian Cuneiform to write
their language
Developed a code very similar to
Hammurabi’s code
Hittite Contributions
First people to master iron working
techniques – eventually turned into Iron
tools and weapons
Hittite rule reached its peak around
1300 BCE, and stuck around until 1200
Their empire fell to powerful raiders,
known as the “Sea Peoples”
The Assyrians and the Chaldeans
After the Hittite
Empire fell, other
peoples fought for
dominance in
western Asia
Eventually the
Assyrians emerged
as a power
The Assyrians
Originally from northern Mesopotamia, near the city
of Assur along the upper Tigris River
Grew barley and raised cattle
Adopted much of Sumerian culture
Assyrians’ land received fairly good rainfall and was
in the midst of major trade routes – this caused
many tribes to invade as an attempt to control the
The Assyrians briefly gained power in the 1300s
BCE and built an empire but it didn’t last
Then again in 900 BCE the Assyrians regained
strength and built a new empire (included
Mesopotamia, Asia minor, and Egypt)
Assyrian Empire: Map
The Assyrians: Military Machine
Assyria’s power relied on its military (because
of their location, frequent rain, and fertile
Constant warfare turned them into a warrior
Their army included chariots, foot soldiers,
and cavalry – all had iron weapons
Assyrian Rule
Kings ruled through local leaders, each of
whom governed a small area of the empire
Local leader collected taxes, enforced laws,
and raised troops for the army
A system of roads linked the distant parts of
the empire
Messengers and merchants traveled these
To maintain peace, the Assyrians punished
anyone who opposed them.
Assyrian Achievements
Library of
Nineveh, which
had more than
20,000 cuneiform
tablets, which
were collected
across the empire
– one being the
Epic of Gilgamesh
Assyrian decline
As the empire grew larger, it became
harder to control
The Chaldeans and the Medes saw an
opportunity and joined forces
In 612 BCE, they captured and burned
their capital, Nineveh
The Assyrian empire came to an end
The Chaldeans
As Assyrian was destroyed, the
Chaldeans picked up the pieces
The Chaldeans formed their own empire
The Chaldeans made the old City of
Babylon the capital of their new
Babylonian empire
Nebuchadnezzar II was the most
famous Chaldean king
Nebuchadnezzar II
Most famous
Warrior and builder
Fought the Egyptians the
Took Jerusalem
Rebuilt Babylon
Architecture was believed
to be amazing
The grand palace was
where the Hanging
Gardens were believed to
Chaldean Culture
Admired ancient Sumerian culture, studied
Sumerian language, and built temples to
Sumerian gods
The Chaldeans developed a calendar based
on the phases of the moon
Chaldeans were short lived
In 539 BCE, less than a century later, the
Persians conquered Babylon and the
Chaldean Empire ended
The Phoenicians
Small city-states like Sidon and Tyre
emerged as trading cities
Although they were usually under a
foreign empire, they became quite
Growth of a Trading Society
Phoenicia is located on the western end of the Fertile
Crescent (today’s Lebanon)
Geographic makeup - narrow coastal plain, rugged
hills and mountains
Farming was difficult and resources were limited
Turned to the sea and became excellent sailors and
dominated trade in the Mediterranean and sailing to
ports in Egypt, Greece, Italy, Sicily, and Spain
As trade grew, they founded colonies along their
trade routes
Carthage – was one of the most famous Phoenician
colonies, which later becomes quite powerful
The Phoenician Alphabet
One of the first alphabets
22 letters, all consonants
This made writing easier
Greeks borrowed and modified it