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Marshland and swamps…
How was Mesopotamia transformed around 3200 BC?
Each city was believed to be the property of an individual god
• King Gudea of
C. 2150 bce
• The inscription
describes a temple
dedicated to the
goddess Geshtinanna
Religion was the central force:
Explained the workings of nature
Eased the fear of death
Justified rules and morality
United people in a common view
Bolstered the authority of rulers
Promoted creativity in art, literature and
• What were the
functions of a
temple priest?
How did Mesopotamians define the purpose of man’s existence?
Why did a mood of pessimism, uncertainty and anxiety
pervade the Sumerian psyche?
• Frequent floods and droughts
• Windstorms
• The gods were unpredictable
• How did King Sargon
earn a place in our
history books?
Third Dynasty of Ur…Ur-Nammu, 2113-2096 BC
The ancient Sumerians were very smart people:
Law codes
Numbering system
Kiln-dried bricks & pottery
Lunar calendar
Potter’s wheel
The wheel
The wheelbarrow
Bronze tools and weapons
The plow
Frying pans
Cosmetic sets
Shepherd’s pipes
Why were King Hammurabi’s law
codes obeyed?
The Hittites,
1600 bc- 1200 bc
examples of Hittite iron swords…
A Phoenician sailing vessel
The Phoenician Alphabet, circa 1400 bc
• Monotheism
• Removed the gods
from nature
• Assertion of human
• 10 Commandments