Mesopotamia is the first known civilization. Mesopotamia means land between two rivers. This civilization began on the plains between the Tigris and

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1 Mesopotamia Review

2 Mesopotamia is the first known civilization. Mesopotamia means land between two rivers. This civilization began on the plains between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. This curving strip of farmland is called the Fertile Crescent. Early farmers used water from these rivers to water their crops.

3 Taming the rivers Sometimes the rivers were too low and other times violent floods swept away crops. The flooded rivers left silt on the plains which was very rich for plants. Over time, the people learned how to build dams to control the floods. They built canals to channel the water where needed. This was called irrigation.

4 Sumer Several cities developed in Sumer. Ur, Uruk, and Eriduwere the centers of the Sumerian civilization. These cities were independent and formed the first city-states. These city-states were protected by a great wall around each one. These cities often warred with each other over land. The people of Sumer worshipped many gods which is called polytheism. Each citystate claimed one god as their special one. To honor the gods, they built ziggurats. This was a large temple with a holy place on top. At first priests ruled the city but eventually Sumerian kings claimed the power. Their rule became hereditary.

5 Writing Writing was the most important contribution to the world. Sumerians kept records and history with writing. Writing was cuneiform which was wedge shaped characters which were made on clay tablets. Only a few people learned how to write and read cuneiform the scribes. The first great epic was written in cuneiform about Gilgamesh a legendary king of Sumer.

6 Technology and Mathematics Sumerians made the first wheel. They built the first carts which were pulled by donkeys. They also introduced the chariot. Sumerians developed the sailboat. They also invented the wooden plow, potter s wheel, and bronze. They used geometry, created a placevalue system based on 60 such as the 60 minute hour and 360 degree circle. They also made a 12-month calendar based on the cycles of the moon.

7 The First Empires Rulers of northern Mesopotamia and neighboring Syria took over Sumer and built empires. An empire is a group of lands under one ruler. The kingdom of Akkad developed in the north. Sargon ruled Akkad and conquered all Sumerian cities, which made him the world s first emperor. Sargon ruled all the peoples of Mesopotamia.

8 Hammurabi The Amorites conquered Mesopotamia and made their capital Babylon. Hammurabi was the King of this Babylonian Empire. Hammurabi was a just ruler known for his code of laws. The Code of Hammurabi was strict and demanded an eye for an eye justice. Hammurabi had his code posted so all could see the laws and the punishments.

9 The Assyrian Empire arose after the empire of Hammurabi. The Assyrians had a large and powerful army made up of foot soldiers, horse soldiers, charioteers, and archers. They took tribute, forced payments, from conquered people. The Assyrians mastered iron production which made their weapons stronger. Assyrian kings divided their land into provinces and built roads to connect them. They built their lives on learning from the Mesopotamian people. They had law codes, writing, and worshipped gods. They built temples and wrote stories. The Assyrian king Ashurbanipal built one of the world s first libraries in Ninevah.

10 The Chaldean Empire After about 300 years, fighting broke out over who would be the next Assyrian ruler. A group of people known as the Chaldeans stepped in and took over. Nabopolasserand his son, Nebuchadnezzar created the Chaldean Empire. The city of Babylon was their capital. He built a huge ziggurat with a gold roof and gardens of greenery at the top. This Hanging Gardens of Babylon could be seen from all over the city. Merchants came to Babylon in caravans to trade and Babylon grew wealthy. King Nebuchadnezzar made Babylon the largest, richest city in the world.

11 Scientific Advancements Chaldean astronomers mapped the stars, planets, and phases of the moon. They invented one of the first sundials to measure time. They were also the first to follow a seven-day week.

12 The Fall of the Empire After Nebuchadnezzar died, a series of weak kings ruled the empire. Poor harvests and slow trade weakened the empire. The Persians recognized that the Chaldeans had lost their strength and leadership. They took advantage and captured Babylon and made it part of their great empire.

13 Do you remember?? What made the soil rich after the floods in Mesopotamia? Sumerians developed a 12-month calendar by recording what? Who developed the first empire in Mesopotamia? What did Assyrians demand from conquered people? What did the astronomers of Babylon map? How do you think the Tigris and Euphrates rivers helped the formation of the empires of Mesopotamia? Why were the Persians wise to not destroy what the Chaldeans had accomplished? Why do you think traders traveled in caravans? How did iron contribute to the Assyrian army s effectiveness?

14 Bellwork January 5 4. First civilizations started here because conditions were good forfarming. Sea mountains river valleys desert 1. What describes the importance of the agricultural revolution? Steady food supplies meant growing population Warrior-kings founded city-states All people became farmers Groups began using stone tools Joke: Where do you put smart hot dogs?

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