The Ancient Civilization of Mesopotamia

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The Ancient Civilization of MesopotamiaWhat were the important characteristics of the civilizations in Mesopotamia?

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River Valley CivilizationsThe discovery of farming during the Neolithic Revolution allowed nomadic people to settle into civilizations

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The world’s first civilizations all began in river valleys The first civilization began in an area known as Mesopotamia

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Mesopotamia means “land between the rivers” & is often called the “Fertile Crescent” or as the “Cradle of Civilization”The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers flooded once per year, leaving behind fertile soil ideal for farming

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TODAY

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The earliest people in Mesopotamia were Sumerians. But, surrounding deserts & the lack of natural barriers attracted outsiders to Mesopotamia made the Sumerians vulnerable to attack

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Many different people, civilizations and empires would be established in Mesopotamia after the Sumerians…Israelites (Hebrews)AkkadiansBabyloniansAssyriansPersiansPhoenicians

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S = Specialized Workers C = Complex Institutions A = Advanced Cities A = Advanced Technologies R = Record Keeping

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Specialized Workers: At the top of society were priests, and then kings In the middle were skilled workers, like merchants At the bottom, were common farmers & slaves SCAAR- Characteristics of Civilizations

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SCAAR- Characteristics of CivilizationsComplex Institutions, Government: Babylonian King Hammurabi created the first legal code Hammurabi’s Code had 282 laws based on justice & retaliation The code had different punishments for the various levels of society

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Hammurabi’s Code

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SCAAR- Characteristics of CivilizationsComplex Institutions, Religion: Sumerians & Babylonians were polytheistic (many gods)

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SCAAR- Characteristics of CivilizationsComplex Institutions, Religion: The Israelites/Hebrews practiced the first monotheistic religion called Judaism God gave Moses the Ten Commandments which served as moral laws The holy book of Judaism is the Torah

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SCAAR- Characteristics of CivilizationsAdvanced cities: Sumerian city-states were protected by high walls At the city center was a temple called a ziggurat

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SCAAR- Characteristics of CivilizationsAdvanced Technology: Sumerians inventions include the wheel, sail, plow, & bronze metalwork

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SCAAR- Characteristics of CivilizationsWriting: Sumerians made the world’s first writing called cuneiform Phoenicians simplified cuneiform to a 22 letter alphabet Phoenician merchants spread the alphabet throughout the Mediterranean world The alphabet influenced Greek, Latin, & English

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Create your own CodeAs a complex institution, government provides order for a civilization. Develop a “Hammurabi’s Code” for East View High School to keep order for our students. Your code must include at least 5 laws and consequences Note, Think about things that are important to keep order in a school

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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