Vocabulary. Mesopotamia The land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, Located in present day Iraq

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1 Mesopotamia

2 Vocabulary Mesopotamia The land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, Located in present day Iraq Levees Raised areas of land around a river, used for flood control Canals Man made ditches that were filled with water, used for irrigation or transportation Irrigation Man made system for watering crops

3 Vocabulary City-State cities and the area surrounding them, often have their own government Artisans Skilled workers Ziggurat Sumerian Temple, Mountain of God, Square shaped step-like pyramid Cuneiform Sumerian Writing, produced by pressing sharp reeds into clay Scribe A professional writer

4 Vocabulary Priest-King A person who serves a group of people as their government and religious leader Hereditary passed down from parent to child

5 I. Intro to Mesopotamia Sumer was the first area to be settled in Mesopotamia, around 3500 BC Sumerians were short, black haired people First known civilization

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7 I. Intro to Mesopotamia Sumerians were the first to control their physical environment Extended the natural levees left behind after flooding of the rivers to protect from future flooding They also created a canal system by digging holes in the levees and allowing them to drain into large ditches, this allowed them to water crops during the dry season

8 I. Intro to Mesopotamia The primary crop of the Sumerians was barley, but they also grew wheat, flax, palm, and other fruits and vegetables Canal work lead to cooperation among the Sumerians, they learned to work together Governments were set up so that the Sumerians had a set of laws to live by

9 I. Intro to Mesopotamia Sumerian cities were made up of buildings that were built with sun dried bricks The largest of these was the city of Ur Sumerians built the first cities in Mesopotamia

10 II. City-States Each city was considered to be its own state Each had their own god and government, but were protected by the Sumerian Military Consisted of the city itself and the land surrounding it Surrounded by a wall of sundried bricks with a bronze gate for protection City-States often fought one another over boundaries and to prove which one was stronger

11 II. City-States Center City was were upper class (Priests and Merchant) homes were located Houses were two stories high Wooden balconies overlooking courtyards Outside walls had no windows (protection from heat and smells)

12 II. City-States Just outside of the upper class homes were the middle class (shopkeepers, gov t officials, and artisans) homes One story Opened to a courtyard Just outside of the middle class homes were the lower class (farmers, unskilled workers, and fishermen) homes One story Stood alone with no open courtyard

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14 III. Religious and Family Life Each city-state had a temple called a ziggurat at the center Home of the city-state s chief god Only priests could enter

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16 Ziggurat of Ur

17 III. Religious and Family Life Around the ziggurat were open areas called courts. The courts contained: Schools Work areas for the Artisans Storage for the Farmers An area where special events were held A place were the poor could get food

18 III. Religious and Family Life All natural forces were considered to be gods by the Sumerians Priests were the only ones who could know the will of the gods Humans were invented because the male gods had to work very hard to please the female gods, so they invented servants HUMANS Sumerians believed they were only on Earth to please the gods They could only be happy if the gods were happy

19 III. Religious and Family Life Priests ran the schools Schools was only for the sons of wealthy citizens Located off of the temple court yard they were known as tablet houses because the main goal of the school was to teach writing Learning to write was important they had to hand copy all texts, upon graduation the student would become a scribe and work for the temple, gov t, palace or private business men

20 III. Religious and Family Life The Sumerians had their own writing called cuneiform Cuneiform was produced by pressing a sharpened reed into a clay tablet creating a series of marking shaped liked wedges Cuneiform was invented to keep track of business transactions

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22 III. Religious and Family Life Women had rights to buy and sell property, own slaves, and run businesses Husband was the head of the household, divorces would be granted simply by the husband saying You re not my wife The Husband could sell his wife and kids to slavery if they needed money He also arranged the marriages of his children

23 III. Religious and Family Life Children were expected to care for their parents when their parents grew old Elders were respected EVERYONE followed the rules of the Gods

24 IV. Priests and Kings Priest-kings ruled Sumerian city-states Gilgamesh from Uruk is the most famous of the Sumerian priest-kings Stories of Gilgamesh make him to be more of a god then a human Oldest stories in the world He was searching for eternal life One story even tells the story of global flooding just like Noah s Ark

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26 IV. Priests and Kings An assembly of free men gave the priest-kings advice Of these men a leader was chosen for the military in times of war Overtime these leaders stayed on even after war was over, taking over for the priest-king and simply becoming King Kingship eventually became hereditary

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