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The Nineveh tablets reveal a civilization 1000 years older than Babylonia...and
neolithic life going back to 7000 BCE
Two great rivers were fed by the winter rains of Syria and the spring thaws of the
snows of the Taurus and Zagros mts : life-giving but unpredictable
How was Mesopotamia transformed around 3200 BC?
Each city was believed to be the property of an individual god
Religion was the central force:
Explained the workings of
nature
Eased the fear of death
United people in a common
view
Bolstered the authority of
rulers
Justified rules and morality
Promoted creativity in art,
literature and science
U.S. soldiers, 2010
• Each city was
the property of a
specific deity.
• Temple priests
interpreted the
will of the gods
and acted as
stewards of a
city's deity.
• The ruler of the
city – a priestking often was
visited and
instructed by
the community's
god.
How did Mesopotamians define the purpose of man’s existence?
Why did a mood of pessimism, uncertainty and anxiety
pervade the Sumerian psyche?
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Frequent floods and droughts
Windstorms
No natural boundaries to impede invasions
The gods were unpredictable
• About 2350 BCE,King
Sargon led the people of
Akkad in conquering
Sumeria and establishing
the world's first empire.
Third Dynasty of Ur…Ur-Nammu, 2113-2096 BC
The ancient Sumerians were very smart people:
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Cuneiform
Law codes
Literature
Schools
Numbering system
Kiln-dried bricks & pottery
Lunar calendar
Potter’s wheel
The wheel
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The wheelbarrow
Sailboats
Bronze tools and weapons
The plow
Frying pans
Razors
Cosmetic sets
Shepherd’s pipes
harps
Why were King Hammurabi’s law
codes obeyed?
The Hittites,
1600 bc- 1200 bc
The first people to
develop a substantial
iron industry
examples of Hittite iron swords…
A Phoenician sailing vessel
•
The Phoenician Alphabet, circa 1400 bc
The
Hebrews
• Monotheism
• Removed the gods
from nature
• Assertion of human
dignity
• 10 Commandments