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Mesopotamia
The Cradle of Civilization
M. Bridgeo, WHS
FISS 10
Mesopotamia
http://www.memo.fr/Media/Carte_Mesopotamie.gif
http://geolibertaire.org/image/p-b/neolithique/naissance_agriculture_2.jpg
Mesopotamia developed between two large rivers, The Tigris and the Eurphrates.
The name ‘Mesopotamia’ comes from the greek language, « meso » (the middle)
and « potamus » (the river), so literally « the land between the rivers ».
It was part of a larger region known as the « fertile crescent » (notice the shape),
where we find the remnants of some of the very first agricultural villages in the history of man
Sumerians
Sumerians
(3500-1900 BCE)
 Came from the mountains to the
north-west by way of the two main
rivers (the Tigris and the Euphrates)
 For 1000 years, they inhabited
independant city-states ruled by kings
 The king was responsible for the citystate as well as the surrounding lands
(agriculture; self-sufficiency)
 Each city-state had their own system
of government, their own laws and
their own military.
 Eridu, the capital, was founded by
gods. Its population was 4000 by the
year 3500 BCE
 Ur was the largest city with a
population of 24000 by 3000 BCE
 The city-states struggled against one
another for control, with power
passing from king to king in the citystates of Kish, Ur and Eridu.
M. Bridgeo, WHS
FISS 10
Sumerians
Gilgamesh killing the lion; who was
Gigamesh?
Sumerians
Cultural developments




cuneieform writing developed
the pottery wheel invented
the lunar calendar was developed
the Sumerian culture was at it’s
peak; writing, the sciences,
mythologie and law are all
emphasized.
 the « Epic of Gilgamesh » was
written
http://home.nordnet.fr/~caparisot/images/gilgatuelion.jpg
Write Like a Babylonian
http://www.upennmuseum.com/cuneiform.cgi
M. Bridgeo, WHS
FISS 10
The Sumerians
The Sumerians
Technological/Economic
developments
 The beginning of the bronze age
 Canals and irrigation systems for
the fields
 Cattle pull primitive forms of the
« the plow », which for the first
time turned the soil; replaced the
hoe
 Seed drills were introduced
 Wheeled chariots were invented
(war and agricultural uses)
 Pullies were employed for the first
time to draw water from wells
 Trade began with trips as far away
as Africa and Egypt, further
enhancing their culture
La Mésopotamie
M. Bridgeo, WHS
FISS 10
http://www.dinosoria.com/inventions/araire_04.jpg
http://www.wikilivres.info/wiki/images/3/3c/Puit.jpg
The Amorites of Babylonia
The Amorites
(1900 - 1300 BCE)
 A semetic, nomadic people who
from the IIIrd millenium BCE,
were located in the lowlands of
the mountains of Syria to the
west of Mesopotamia.
 The center of this civilization
was the glorious city of
Babylonia.
 The king Hammurabi was the
most powerful and influential of
this people.
 They were powerful traders;
their boats reached the shores
ofM. India
Bridgeo, and
WHS Africa, which further
FISS 10
http://www.cliolamuse.com/IMG/jpg/hammurabi.jpg
http://thales.cica.es/rd/Recursos/rd98/HisArtLit/01/hammurabi.jpg
The
Amorites
King Hammurabi
(1792-1750 BCE)
 The most glorious and magnificent
king of the Amorites, he ruled
during the zenith of the history of
Babylonia.
 He is credited with the first set of
written laws, known as
« Hammurabi Code »
 282 written laws that were exhibited
for all to see
 Written on a large stone, known as
Stela
 The code was divided in chapters
that legislated daily life, covering
such subjects as theft, false
testimony, administration of royal
property, law, workplace conduct,
interest
rates, business,
M. Bridgeo, WHS
exploitation,
etc.
FISS 10
http://www.bible-history.com/archaeology/assyria/hammurabi-stele.jpg
http://www.duhaime.org/Portals/duhaime/images/Hammurabi_Code.jpg
M. Bridgeo, WHS
FISS 10
•
The Hanging Gardens of
Babylon
The gardens were located on
the
banks of the Euphrates river in the city
of Babylon (50 km south of Bagdad)
• Built in 600 BCE
• They were built by King
Nabuchodonosor II, king of the
Chaldeans (604-562 BCE) for his wife,
according to legend, as she longed for
a taste of her homeland (in Iran).
• The gardens were built as several
stages with terrasses.
• Hydraulic pumps brought water from
the Euphrates to the gardens where it
cascaded down marble staircases.
• The botanial gardens were filled with
trees and plants from the queen’s
homelands.
• It was considered one of the 7 ancient
wonders of the world.
Wonders of the Ancient World - Hanging
Gardens of Babylon
http://www.les-7-merveilles.fr/jardins_suspendus.htm