1/29/2012. Transition from Stone Age to Bronze Age. Hassunna Culture ( BCE) Lecture 3. Rise of Urbanism

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1 Lecture 3. Rise of Urbanism HIST 213 Spring 2012 Transition from Stone Age to Bronze Age Important developments in burial tradition: 1. communal graves give way to individual burials with prestige burial gifts signifying status 2. Male graves include weapons and polished metal daggers, signifying warrior status Hassunna Culture ( BCE) seated Hassuna figurine 6000 BCE earliest sedentary culture in N. Mesopotamia wheat and barley no irrigation simples house/villages 2 ha vs. Jericho (4 ha) painted pottery kilns 1

2 Samarra Culture ( BCE) contemporary with Hassuna farming partially based on irrigation (dry land) pottery dynamic style T-shaped houses complex economic features stamp seals dedicated artisans complex religious practice alabaster figurines Alabaster figurines from Tell es-sawwan dynamically- painted ceramic plates 5500 BCE Halaf Culture ( BCE) N. Mesa and Syria new migration? in East domed round houses in West rectilinear shaft-grave burials fine monochrome pottery elaborate jewelry A necklace of obsidian beads, cowrie shells and a stone pendant from Arpachiyah Halaf Culture Halaf fertility goddess sculptures ca BCE Elaborately decorated vessels with animals in both animalistic and schematic styles from Arpachiyah 2

3 Ubaid Culture True irrigation farming grain surplus gave the people of Sumer the time to develop new skills inventive and thoughtful first artisans, traders, priests, scribes and merchants started to appear System of government emerged organized religious practices new order of social classes all the elements of what would come to be recognized as civilization. entrance hall, staircase and living rooms on either side. This house found at Tell Madhhur had been destroyed by fire and abandoned in around 4500 BCE Household domestic utensils include painted pots, grindstones, hoes over 3,800 sling bullets were scattered across the floors Beneath the floor of one of the side rooms the body of an infant had been buried in a pottery jar. Burial within the family living quarters was a common practice among these early settlers. Ubaid period house (early phase) 3

4 Sumerian Timeline Ubiad (city of Eridu) Early Uruk 70 hectares: population 7,000-10, Late Uruk 200 hectares: population 40,000-50,000 population explosion indicates greater social organization, plant propagation and irrigation technology Early Dynastic Period Aspects of Civilization 1. Urbanization Monumental Architecture 2. Social hierarchy political religious military 3. Writing Literacy 4

5 5

6 Uruk (Warka) Vase alabaster, 1 meter high from Uruk III period stolen from the National Museum of Iraq in 2003 Warka Vase depicts procession of naked men carrying farm produce Goddess Inana form EN (lord) indicative of religious/social hierarchy 6

7 Cuneiform wedge-shaped writing on clay tablets The Origin of Cuneiform Signs II. The Development of Writing When it Becomes Cuneiform At first, the images were drawn with the pointed end of the stylus Cuneiform: the images are created when the edge of the stylus is impressed in the clay 7

8 Evolution of Cuneiform Signs Uruk IV c Jemdet Nasr c Ur III Neo-Assyrian 1 st millennium god place person woman foreign female slave head mouth food How Cuneiform Signs Were Used I. Logograms: Word Signs lu = person, human ig = door dingir = god šu = hand gish = wood, tree du = to go 8

9 How Cuneiform Signs Were Used II. The Movement to Syllabograms: Sound Signs Sumerian Akkadian = door ig daltu ik - šu - du = hand šu qatu ikšudu = they conquered = to go du alaku Development of Writing precursor to writing (tokens) Pictograms and Ideograms BELIEF Bee leaf Epic of Gilgamesh written c BCE 12 Tablets preserved by Assyrians in 7 th C. BCE Battle between Gilgamesh and Enkidu Flood Story Inability to conquer Death Struggle with Inanna (jealousy) 9

10 What were the differences between nomadic/pastoral cultures and Uruk/Sumer? 1. Increased agricultural efficiency use of technology (irrigation) 2. Controlled regional territories anchored in place 3. ruled by theocracies religious function of kingship 4. centralized economies taxation and tribute patterns allowing for specialization 5. social stratification based on wealth and slavery 6. Improved technology travel and military 7. Long-distance trade supplementation of agriculture 8. Writing literature 9. Monumental architecture organization of population and resources 10

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