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Transcript
Ancient
Civilizations:
Mesopotamia
Geography
• Fertile Crescent
•North east of Egypt
•Good farmland
•Between the Tigris,
Euphrates Rivers
“the cradle of civilization”
• Lack of natural barriers
• Frequent migration and invasion
• Very diverse group of people
Mesopotamia
• “the land between two rivers”
• Eastern end of fertile crescent
• A crossroads where people shared ideas
and customs
Sumerian Civilization
• First civilization in Mesopotamia was Sumer.
• City –states: political units made up of a city and
surrounding land.
City-States
• Fought each other for land and water
• War leaders evolved into hereditary rulers
Religion
• Polytheistic (many gods/ goddesses)
• Ziggurat: largest building in city-state,
temple to city-state’s chief god or goddess
Ziggurat
Happy
gods/goddesses
prosperous citystate
Offered sacrifices
of animals, grains,
wine
Holy day celebrations
ceremonies and
processions
Government
• Ruler/ Chief servant of the gods responsible for:
– Maintaining city walls
– Irrigation systems
– Leading army
– Enforcing laws
– Employing Scribes
• Collect taxes
• Keep records
Society
• Social hierarchy- system of ranks
Women in society
• Role changed over time.
• Early days mother- goddess
honored.
• Large city-states: warrior
leaders and male gods replaced
mother-goddess.
• Could own property and trade.
Contributions to society
• Cuneiform- wedge-shaped writing
Other contributions
•
•
•
•
First wheeled vehicles
Irrigation systems/ dikes/ canals
Algebra/geometry
Astronomy
Other civilizations of Mesopotamia
• Assyrians
• Persians
• Babylonians
• Hittites
• Lydians
Assyrians
• Upper Tigris region
• Conquered entire Fertile Crescent
• Enemies united to destroy, empire collapsed
Persians
• Ruler- Darius
• Divided the empire into provinces
• Built roads- aid travel and communication
Babylonians
• Powerful ruler- Hammurabi
• Code of Hammurabi- first major collection of laws in
history
Hittites
• Mined iron ore to produce iron
• Brought the world into the iron age
Lydians
• Developed a system of coined money