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  • Early River Valley Civilizations: Mesopotamia

    Mesopotamia Map


  • Partner Discussion Question

    • Why did humans travel around? What was the one thing they HAD to have? Because of this need, where do we find most of our early villages and cities located?

  • The Start of Mesopotamia • Middle East (5000 BCE)

    – Fertile Crescent • Fertile due to:

    – 2 major rivers that emptied into the Persian Gulf

    • Tigris River • Euphrates River

    – What country is this area today???

  • • Mesopotamia (c. 3100-529 BCE) – Greek term meaning “between the rivers”

    • Small cities close to Persian Gulf – Later spread further WHY???

  • Geography of Mesopotamia

  • Geography Practice: Fertile Crescent

  • Impact of Geography • Rivers

    –Positives • Fertile land allowed crops to grow • Deposited silt

    –Rich soil from bottom of riverbeds

  • Impact of Geography – Negatives

    • Rivers flooded unpredictably • Area of Sumer was small • Lacked other vital natural resources

    –How would they get these???

  • Partner Discussion Question

    • What technology did the Sumerians utilize that would help lessen the negative consequences of their location?

  • Impact of Geography • Problem Solving

    – New technologies • Irrigation canals

    – Control water – Spread the amount of farmable land

  • Impact of Geography

    • Built walls to protect the cities from invaders

  • Impact of Geography • Traded for resources

    – Who did they trade with??? What do you think they traded???

    – Traded grain and cloth for wood, metal, and tools

  • Mesopotamia – First Civilization

    • Sumer (2900 BCE) – City-states – Considered FIRST civilization

  • Partner Discussion Question

    • Why is Sumer considered to be the FIRST civilization? What features of civilization did Sumer have? (Hint: Think back to the lecture from last class!)

  • Sumerian Cities • All cities had their OWN governments and

    rulers –Eridu –Ur

  • Sumerian Society – Buildings made of clay bricks

    • Regular houses • Rich houses

  • Examples of Ur Housing

  • Economy of Sumerian Cities

    • Economy based of Agriculture – What was traded??? (Think

    back to earlier in the lecture!!!)

    • Marketplace – Bazaar or open air market

    • Barter

  • Chapter Reading Review Question

    • Write down as many facts as you can remember from the reading about Sumerian religion.

  • Sumerian Religion • Polytheism • Ziggurat

    – Protected by walls – Served many purposes

    • Ceremonies • Sacrifices • Store grain

    • Priests held high power in society – At first had all power… who eventually takes this

    power??? How and why???

  • Sumerian Government

    • Dynasties

  • Sumerian Society

    • Rigid social classes – Priests and Kings – upper class – Merchants / Artisans – upper middle class – Farmers / Laborers – lower middle class – Slaves – Prisoners of War

    • Women – Own land – Low priesthood – Could not write

    • What does this suggest???

  • Sumerian Science & Technology

    • Sumerians known for 4 major inventions – Wheel – Sail

    • Trade • Travel

    – Plow – Harness

  • • Calendars • Number system 0 – 60 • Bronze

    – the Bronze Age • Cuneiform

    – Writing system of pressing into clay – Pictographs – Stylus

    • Ziggurat

  • Early Mesopotamian Conquerors

    • Religious leaders – Wars broke out

    • Military leaders come to power

    • Conquer nearby villages – Beginning of empires

    • What is an empire???

    • First Empire builder - Sargon of Akkad

  • Akkadian Empire

    • Conquers City-State Sumer – From city of Akkad – Adopted many Sumerian practices and beliefs

    • Sargon dynasty unifies Sumer from 2340 – 2125 BCE

    – First time Sumer unified • Expands empire from north of Sumer to Persian


  • Sargon’s Empire

  • Partner Discussion Question

    • Why did Sargon adopt much of the Sumerian culture? How did this help him to rule? Explain.

  • Babylonians

    • Empire of Sargon begins to weaken • Amorites take power of Sumer around

    2000 BCE • Called Babylonians

    – Babylon is capital (no longer Ur) – Still kept practices of Sumer

  • Babylonian Empire

  • Hammurabi • Hammurabi (1790-1750 BCE) • Code of law

    – Based off earlier codes – First Written Law Code – Posted throughout cities

    • Hammurabi’s Code based on revenge – Eye for an eye, tooth for tooth – Rules applied differently to

    rich and poor

  • Part of Hammurabi’s Code from a Stele

  • Babylonian Religion

    • Religion changed – Marduk – Similar beliefs

    Early River Valley Civilizations:�Mesopotamia Partner Discussion Question The Start of Mesopotamia Slide Number 4 Geography of Mesopotamia Slide Number 6 Geography Practice: Fertile Crescent Impact of Geography Slide Number 9 Impact of Geography Partner Discussion Question Impact of Geography Impact of Geography Impact of Geography Mesopotamia – First Civilization Partner Discussion Question Sumerian Cities Sumerian Society Examples of Ur Housing Economy of Sumerian Cities Chapter Reading Review Question Sumerian Religion Slide Number 23 Sumerian Government Sumerian Society Sumerian Science & Technology Slide Number 27 Early Mesopotamian Conquerors Akkadian Empire Sargon’s Empire Slide Number 31 Partner Discussion Question Babylonians Babylonian Empire Hammurabi Part of Hammurabi’s Code from a Stele Babylonian Religion


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