Chapter 2, Section 3 Ancient Sumer

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Chapter 2First Civilizations: Africa and Asia (3200 B.C.–500 B.C.)Copyright © 2003 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. All rights reserved.World History: Connection to Today


Ancient Kingdoms of the NileHow did geography influence ancient Egypt? What were the main features and achievements of Egypt’s three kingdoms? How did trade and warfare affect Egypt and Nubia?1


The Egyptian Empire About 1450 B.C.1


People settled and established farming villages along the Nile. Egyptians depended on annual floods to soak the land and deposit a layer of silt, or rich soil. Egyptians had to cooperate to control the Nile, building dikes, reservoirs, and irrigation ditches. Rulers used the Nile to link and unite Upper and Lower Egypt. The Nile served as a trade route connecting Egypt to Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean world. Geography of the Ancient Nile Valley1


Powerful pharaohs created a large empire that reached the Euphrates River. Hatshepsut encouraged trade. Ramses II expanded Egyptian rule to Syria. Egyptian power declined. Large drainage project created arable farmland. Traders had contacts with Middle East and Crete. Corruption and rebellions were common. Hyksos invaded and occupied the delta region.Pharaohs organized a strong central state, were absolute rulers, and were considered gods. Egyptians built pyramids at Giza. Power struggles, crop failures, and cost of pyramids contributed to the collapse of the Old Kingdom.NEW KINGDOM MIDDLE KINGDOMOLD KINGDOMThree Kingdoms of Ancient Egypt1


Egypt and NubiaFor centuries, Egypt traded or fought with Nubia. During the New Kingdom, Egypt conquered Nubia. Nubians served in Egyptian armies and influenced Egyptian culture. Egyptian art from this period shows Nubian soldiers, musicians, or prisoners. When Egypt declined, Nubia conquered Egypt. Nubians did not see themselves as conquerors. They respected Egyptian traditions. 1


Section 2: Egyptian Civilization


Egyptian Civilization How did religious beliefs shape the lives of Egyptians? How was Egyptian society organized? What advances did Egyptians make in learning and the arts?2


Egyptian Religious BeliefsBelief that many gods and goddesses ruled the world and the afterlife. -Amon-Re was the sun god. -Osiris was the god of the underworld and of the Nile. -The pharaoh was believed to be a god as well as a monarch. Belief in eternal life after death. -Relied on the Book of the Dead to help them through the afterworld. -Practiced mummification, the preservation of the body for use in the next life. 2


Statues, paintings, and writings tell us about ancient Egyptian values and attitudes. Developed painting style that remained unchanged for thousands of years. Wrote hymns and prayers to the gods, proverbs, love poems, stories of victory in battle, and folk tales. Built pyramids and other great buildings, such as temple of Ramses II. Developed a form of picture writing called hieroglyphics. Doctors diagnosed and cured illnesses, performed surgery, and developed medicines still used today. Developed 12-month calendar on which modern calendar is based. Astronomers mapped constellations and charted movement of the planets. Developed practical geometry. Skilled in design and engineering.Advances in the ArtsAdvances in LearningAncient Egypt: A Center of Learning & Culture2


HIGH PRIESTS AND PRIESTESSES Served gods and goddessesPHARAOH Earthly leader; considered a god NOBLES Fought pharaoh’s warsMERCHANTS, SCRIBES, AND ARTISANS Made furniture, jewelry, and fabrics for pharaohs and nobles, and provided for other needsPEASANT FARMERS AND SLAVES Worked in the fields and served the pharaohClass System in Ancient Egypt2


Ancient Egypt


Chapter 2, Section 3 Ancient Sumer


City-States of Ancient SumerHow did geographic features influence the civilizations of the Fertile Crescent? What were the main features of Sumerian civilization? What advances in learning did the Sumerians make?3


The Fertile CrescentThe Fertile Crescent is the fertile land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The first civilization in the Fertile Crescent was discovered in Mesopotamia. As in Egypt, these fertile lands supported the development of civilization. Villages along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers had to work together. The first Sumerian cities emerged in southern Mesopotamia around 3200 B.C.


Worshiped many gods. Believed gods controlled every aspect of life. Saw afterlife as a grim place. To keep the gods happy, each city built a ziggurat, or pyramid temple.Each state had distinct social hierarchy, or system of ranks. Most people were peasant farmers. Women had legal rights; some engaged in trade and owned property. City-states with hereditary rulers. Ruler led army in war and enforced laws. Complex government with scribes to collect taxes and keep records. RELIGIONSOCIAL STRUCTUREGOVERNMENTSumerian Civilization3


Advances in Sumerian LearningDeveloped cuneiform, believed to be the earliest form of writing. Developed basic algebra and geometry. Made accurate calendars, essential to a farming society. Made the first wheeled vehicles.


Compare: GeographyEgypt Nile River Sahara Desert Close to Mediterranean Sea Close to Red Sea Sumer Euphrates River Tigris River Close to Persian Gulf Fertile Crescent b/w rivers Arabian Desert to West Close to Mediterranean Sea


Compare: ReligionEgypt Polytheistic (except for Akenaton) Pharaoh is ‘god on earth’ Belief in happy afterlife Elaborate burials-pyramids, mummiesSumer Polytheistic Gods behave like ordinary people Ziggurats-pyramid shaped temple to the god/goddess Sacrifices Afterlife is grim


Compare: EconomyEgypt Trade: gold, art, pottery, etc. Farming Sumer Few natural resources Trade: pottery, art Farming


Compare: GovernmentEgypt Pharaoh-god on earth. Preserve justice and order Vizier-chief minister. Supervised taxes, farming, irrigation Sumer Ruler for each city-state was in charge of: walls, irrigation, taxes, records Ruler was chief servant to the gods, led ceremonies to please them


Compare: Social StructureEgypt Pharaoh Nobles, priests Artisans, merchants, scribes Farmers Slaves Women have rightsSumer Social hierarchy (system of ranks) Highest: ruling class, leading officials, high priests Middle: lesser priests, scribes, merchants, artisans Lower: peasant farmers Slaves Women have rights


Compare: Achievements Egypt Pyramids Writing: hieroglyphics, demotic Medicine Astronomy GeometrySumer Ziggurat Writing: cuneiform Algebra Geometry Astronomy


City-states of Sumer


Section 4:Invaders, Traders, and Empire BuildersHow did early empires arise in Mesopotamia? How did ideas and technology spread? How did the Persians unite a huge empire? What contributions did the Phoenicians make?4


A series of strong rulers united the lands of the Fertile Crescent into well organized empires. Again and again, nomadic warriors invaded the rich cities of the Fertile Crescent. Some looted and burned the cities. Others stayed to rule them. 2300 B.C. –Sargon, the ruler of Akkad, conquered Sumer and built the first known empire. 1790 B.C.–Hammurabi, King of Babylon, united the Babylonian empire.Invaders, Traders, and Empire Builders4

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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