Main Idea: The geography of Mesopotamia helped create the conditions for civilization

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1 Chapter 4 -Ancient Mesopotamia notes L.1 Geography of Mesopotamia Main Idea: The geography of Mesopotamia helped create the conditions for civilization -Land Between Rivers The River Valley in the Fertile Crescent between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers is known as Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia - Land between the rivers. The river flooding is unpredictable, too much, too little, or late can be devastating to the crops. On the plus side, the floods deposited silt which made the otherwise dry land, fertile Silt - an especially fine and fertile soil -Farming in Mesopotamia Mesopotamia was a tricky place for farming because of the unpredictable flooding, hot summers, and unreliable rainfall Solution: irrigation! Farmers dug irrigation canals as a way to get river water to their fields; they also stored rainwater for later use, and built floodwalls using mounds of earth. Irrigation : watering fields using a human made system People used new technology, such as the ox-driven plow to turn the hot baked soil to get large fields ready for farming. Because of the abundant food supply, people were able to devote time and energy on art, architecture, and technology. This allowed a great civilization to develop.

2 L2: City-states develop Main Idea: The city state of Sumer formed Southwest Asia s first civilization Around 3500 BC Sumer developed in the southern region of Mesopotamia. Sumer was made up of a dozen self-governing city-states which developed when villages united to make connected irrigation systems. City-state : Includes the city and its surrounding land and settlements Most of Sumer s city-states were built on the Tigris or Euphrates river, or on the coast of the Persian Gulf, where fishing and trade developed. Wars were fought to protect fertile land, limited natural resources, and profitable trade routes. -Centers of Civilization Sumer had abundant fertile land, however it lacked important natural resources such as, tin and copper; these had to be acquired through trade. When combined, tin and copper made bronze, a very strong metal used to make tools and weapons. Because of its importance, the time around 3000 BC is known as the Bronze Age. A growth in population meant the need to establish government systems to manage the many people. Kings arose for strong leadership, and administrators, paid by Sumerians, collected taxes and kept order.

3 Social Class : an order based on power and wealth Artisans : people who are skilled at making things by hand L3: Religion in Sumer Sumerians believed in many gods, who they thought had super powers that controlled the unpredictable rivers, droughts, and disease. Polytheism- the belief in many gods Sumerians would try to keep the gods happy by performing different rituals. Priests would study the moon, sun, and stars in order to predict the gods plans; this lead to early calendars, astronomy, and mathematics. Ritual: formal series of acts always performed in the same way The ziggurat, or temple, was the most important building in a city-state. Sumerians invented the earliest form of writing, pictographs, which evolved into symbols called cuneiform; This change marked the beginning of written history and a huge step in the development of civilization.

4 Scribes used reeds, or sharpened blades of grass, to carve the wedge-shaped cuneiform- 600 symbols in all- into wet clay tablets that were then dried. Epic of Gilgamesh -The world's oldest recorded story. -Author: unknown -About a king who encounters and defeats a monster Sargon Sargon the Great conquered Sumer and other lands in Mesopotamia to create the world's first empire, called the Akkadian Empire. empire- a group of different lands and people governed by one ruler There were many wars and disputes between the city-states of Sumer; this allowed Sargon to come through and easily take control. Sargon had control from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea Sargon had tolorance- having sympathy for the beliefs and customs of others, but they had to pay a protection tax, called a tribute. He introduced standard weights and measures throughout his empire. One common spoken language throughout the land Under Sargon, famine-widespread hunger- was avoided for 100 years. The empire became too big to manage, by 2200 BC the empire ended. Hammurabi After Sargon's empire, a group came and established a new empire centered around the city-state Babylon. Hammurabi, was the 6th king of Babylonia; he was the most influential ruler He worked on domestic improvements: streets, strong city walls, temples, and efficient irrigation canals

5 He also had a network of alliances, or partnerships. (this allowed him to take over Sumer and Akkad in just 8 years.) Best remembered for his Code of Laws. Hammurabi took the best existing laws, added to them and posted them across the empire so everyone was aware of them. The code also applied based on social class: landowners had harsher punishments over slaves. Innocent until proven guilty Influenced legal systems in ancient Greece and Rome These also serve as insight into the daily life of these ancient people Phoenicians through their extensive trade network, the Phoenicians spread different cultures throughout the Mediterranean and beyond The established colonies, or outposts of people from one land who live in another The imported raw materials, or substances from which other things are made. 22 letter alphabet to record trade, each symbol stood for a certain sound

6 Legacy - cultural and technological developments left to us from the past. Sumerians The first writing system The plow The sailboat The first lunar calendar First recorded story Babylonians First Code of Laws Hanging Gardens (one of the 7 wonders of the world Sargon was the first king to unify the city-states (literature, art, and architecture flourished) Hammurabi- (known as the first empire) temples, roads, extensive canal systems, and a code of laws. Assyrians -military prowess, -advances in weaponry and -meticulously recorded conquests. Phoenicians -The first alphabet -Great traders (esp. in Mediterranean Sea) -Purple dye from jellyfish to color wool -Designed warships to trade in

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