early river civilizations mesopotamia and the sumerians

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Early River Civilizations Mesopotamia and the Sumerians. World History Pullen. Mesopotamia- The land between the rivers. The Tigris – Euphrates Rivers form the Fertile Crescent Silt Good weather Flood unpredictably The Zagros and Taurus Mountains, Syrian Desert - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Early River CivilizationsMesopotamia and the SumeriansWorld HistoryPullen

  • Mesopotamia- The land between the riversThe Tigris Euphrates Rivers form the Fertile CrescentSiltGood weatherFlood unpredictablyThe Zagros and Taurus Mountains, Syrian DesertNatural barriers to keep out intrudersmodern day Iraq, parts of Turkey, and parts of Syria

  • Mesopotamia- Map

  • Mesopotamia: SumerSumer included the cities of Ur and KishThe city state of Sumer grew as more people began to settle in the fertile areas.Population grew along the rivers.The growth of the population encouraged new technology:IrrigationDevelopment of artificial lakes and pondsWhy?!?

  • IrrigationIrrigation is the method of getting water to specific areas of farmland through drainage pipes or ditches.An irrigated field:

  • Early GovernmentsNo boundaries. Each city is independent. Early government ruled by priestsleaders in charge of irrigation systems of canals as well as work crews, appointed inspectors, and settled arguments. Surplus of grain kept in temples. Collection of taxes - grain, animals, farm products. Prayed, made sacrifices to please the gods. Spent lives serving the gods.

  • Record KeepingRecord keeping is needed when government, religion, and economy become more complex.Scribes: professional record keepersCuneiform: Sumerian writing with a wedged stick and clay tablet

  • Sumerian Contributions: The first kingsEventually military leaders became kings. Why? Conflict was over land boundaries and use of water. Defended the cities against invaders Managed irrigation works, surplus grain, chief judge in all arguments. Kingship came down from heaven. Dynasty: A series of rulers from the same family

  • Sumerian Contributions: ReligionPolytheism: Many godscontrolled everything immortal and all powerful. Gods would protect or destroy

  • Four (4) important Gods:An: Father of all gods, God of the sky Enlil: God of the air. Gave kings their power Enki: God of the water. Ruled city of Eridu Ninhursag: Mother goddess Nonna: Moon God. Ruled Ur Others: sun God goddess of love and war Each city had its own god. Why?

  • People of SumeriaSocial Classes (3) Highest class included: King, government officials, priests, wealthy merchants and landownersMiddle class included: Farmers, fishermen, artisansLowest class included: slaves, prisoners, people who did not own land and children Women had some freedom of job choice and could hold property

    Why do most civilizations (even our own) have social classes?

  • Mesopotamia: Division of Labor and EconomyEveryone had a job in SumeriaExamples: bricklayers, canal builders, butchers, artistsBarter!Barter is the exchange of surplus food items for materials that are needed.Why dont we use barter today?

  • HammurabiCreated a written law codeUnified the empire282 specific lawsFamily relations, business conduct, and crimesDifferent punishments for rich and poorGovernment has a responsibility to organize society

    Why was it important that the law code be written down?


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