ancient civilizations: mesopotamia

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Ancient Civilizations: Mesopotamia. Geography. North east of Egypt Good farmland Between the Tigris, Euphrates Rivers. Fertile Crescent. “the cradle of civilization”. Lack of natural barriers Frequent migration and invasion Very diverse group of people. Mesopotamia. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Ancient Civilizations Mesopotamia

Ancient Civilizations:MesopotamiaGeographyFertile Crescent

North east of EgyptGood farmlandBetween the Tigris, Euphrates Rivers

the cradle of civilizationLack of natural barriersFrequent migration and invasionVery diverse group of people

Mesopotamiathe land between two riversEastern end of fertile crescentA crossroads where people shared ideas and customs

Sumerian CivilizationFirst civilization in Mesopotamia was Sumer.City states: political units made up of a city and surrounding land.

City-StatesFought each other for land and waterWar leaders evolved into hereditary rulers

ReligionPolytheistic (many gods/ goddesses) Ziggurat: largest building in city-state, temple to city-states chief god or goddess


Offered sacrifices of animals, grains, wineHoly day celebrationsceremonies and processions

Happy gods/goddessesprosperous city-stateGovernmentRuler/ Chief servant of the gods responsible for:Maintaining city wallsIrrigation systemsLeading armyEnforcing lawsEmploying ScribesCollect taxesKeep records

SocietySocial hierarchy- system of ranks

Women in societyRole 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 societyCuneiform- wedge-shaped writing

Other contributionsFirst wheeled vehiclesIrrigation systems/ dikes/ canalsAlgebra/geometryAstronomy

Other civilizations of MesopotamiaAssyriansPersiansBabyloniansHittitesLydians

AssyriansUpper Tigris regionConquered entire Fertile CrescentEnemies united to destroy, empire collapsed

PersiansRuler- DariusDivided the empire into provincesBuilt roads- aid travel and communication

BabyloniansPowerful ruler- HammurabiCode of Hammurabi- first major collection of laws in history

HittitesMined iron ore to produce ironBrought the world into the iron age

LydiansDeveloped a system of coined money


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