Ancient Mesopotamia: Ch.1.3 & 2.1

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Ancient Mesopotamia: Ch.1.3 & 2.1Origins of Civilization


A Case Study: Ur in SumerWhat makes a civilization? Advanced cities (what creates a city?) Specialized workers – artesians and trade Complex institutions – government and laws; religion Record keeping – scribes and cuneiform Advanced technology – Bronze Age


Ur Around 3000 BC, Ur had a population of around 30,000 Agricultural economy with large-scale irrigation – why is irrigation important? Trade was conducted with a bartering systemm Temple (ziggurat) being the center of city life shows importance of religion


City States in MesopotamiaThe region is known as the Fertile Cresent due to the shape it takes lying between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers Why is this location important? What environmental challenges were there? Flooding and then period of little to no participation No natural barriers for protection Building materials and other natural resources were scarce


City States in MesopotamiaHow were these problems solved? Organization! Irrigation provided water Built walled cities for defense Traded manufactured goods for natural resources City states arose… the cultures in Mesopotamia shared a common culture but WERE NOT a unified country.


City States in MesopotamiaPriests and rulers shared control, and this led to the rise of dynasties. The success of the city states led to more of them, and through cultural diffusion more sprung up in areas that were removed from Mesopotamia.


Sumerian CultureThe Sumerians practiced polytheism, or a belief in more than one god. People were their servants, and their #1 goal was to keep them happy. Death is not a reward… “Dust is their fare and clay is their food.” Social classes arose with civilizations – what causes class separation today? Back then? Developed a number system based on 60 (where does a minute come from?), modern architecture (columns & arches) Created a system of writing called


Empire Building in MesopotamiaSargon of Akkad was the first Mesopotamian empire builder, who united northern and southern Mesopotamia. The Akkadian Empire stretched from the Mediterranean coast to Iran. The dynasty only lasted 200 years thanks to infighting. Amorites invaded in 2000 BC, establishing their capital at Babylon. This empire reached its peak during Hammurabi’s reign, from 1792 BC to 1750 BC


Hammurabi's CodeHe recognized that a single, uniform code of laws would unify the diverse group of people living in his empire. He compiled his code from existing rules and judgments. It lists 282 specific laws dealing with every possible thing that could impact the community – many of these are property based It applied to everyone, but set different punishments for men and women, rich and poor – is it fair to take circumstances into consideration? Hammurabi believed that it was the government’s responsibility to protect those who could not protect themselves

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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