Civilization Begins in Mesopotamia:Short Answers and Essential Question
little rain, but soil enriched by layers of silt deposited by the overflowing of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers flooding , due to spring run-off, was unpredictable, and sometimes caused damaging floods people learned how to control the flooding (irrigation and drainage ditches) made it possible to grow an abundance food promoted agriculture and supported cities, where trade and industry could thrive
first Sumerian city with population of 50,000 people by 2700 B.C. walled city with defensive towers and dwellings made of mud bricks dwellings of different sizes, indicating a social structure consisting of peasants and of people with higher status (city officials, priests & priestesses)
most prominent building in a Sumerian city was the temple dedicated to the chief god or goddess of the city, often built atop a ziggurat priest or priestess who supervised this temple had great power (surplus food and crafts stored here) Sumerians believed that gods ruled their cities even when ruled by a king, it was believed that these rulers derived their power from the gods (divine authority)
farming trade (bartered with civilizations in Eastern Mediterranean and India wool, barley, dried fish, wheat and metal goods for imported copper, tin and timber) industry (tools and jewelry made of bronze)
nobles (royalty and priests & their families) commoners (servants, farmers, merchants, fishers, and artisans) slaves (used for building projects, weaving, grinding grain, as workers for rich landowners)
achievement effect on our lives todaycuneiform (Sumerian form of writing) basis for modern forms of communicationthe wheel cars, trucks, etc. still use wheels
potters wheel sundial first to use bronze devised a number system based on 60 used geometry to measure fields & erect buildings charted the heavenly constellations
If anyone commits a robbery and is caught, then he shall be put to death. If a man wishes to separate from a woman who has borne him children, or from his wife who has borne him children, then he shall give that wife her dowry, and a part of the usufruct (right of use) of field , garden, and property, so that she can rear her children. If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out.
severe penalties for criminal offenses officials held strictly accountable for enforcing laws regulated marriage patriarchal society women had rights (although not as many as men)
characteristic evidence in Mesopotamia? time (approximate)cities? Eridu, Ur, Uuk 3500-500 B.C.government? kings, Code of Hammurabireligion? priests & priestesses, ziggurat, 2100 B.C.social structure? nobles, commoners, slaves 3500-500 B.C.writing? cuneiform 3500 B.C.art? Epic of Gilgamesh, Standard of Ur 2700 B.C.
The Deluge tablet of the Gilgamesh epic inAkkadian
depicting a a border skirmish (excavated in Ur in 1920 – now in British Museum
portrays a banquet scene – attendants parade animals, fish, and other goods(possibly war booty) before seated figures, while a lyrist entertains the throng