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The First Civilizations: Mesopotamia
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The First Civilizations: Mesopotamia

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Created by María Jesús Campos Fernández, teacher of Geography and History in a bilingual section in Madrid. …

Created by María Jesús Campos Fernández, teacher of Geography and History in a bilingual section in Madrid.
learningfromhistory.wikispaces.com
learningfromgeography.wikispaces.com

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  • 1. THE FIRST CIVILIZATIONS: MESOPOTAMIA María Jesús Campos learningfromhistory.wikispaces.com
  • 2. THE FIRST URBAN CIVILIZATIONS: THE RIVER CIVILIZATIONS  Some 6 000 years ago, some Neolithic villages became cities as a result of agricultural and commercial prosperity.  These civilisations invented writing.
  • 3.  The first great civilizations developed along large rivers surrounded by fertile land:  Mesopotamia: Tigris and Euphrates Rivers  Egypt: the River Nile  India: Indus River  China: Huang He (Yellow) and Yangtze (Blue) Rivers
  • 4. MESOPOTAMIA, THE LAND BETWEEN TWO RIVERS  The first civilizations appeared in the Fertile Crescent, in the fertile plains between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.  These area was called Sumer.
  • 5. POLITICAL ORGANIZATION  Thanks to agricultural and commercial prosperity, Neolithic villages became independent city-states.  The most important city- states in Sumer were Ur, Uruk and Lagash.  They had in common racial features but they were independent in politics.
  • 6.  Need for defense led to an increase in the importance of military commanders and, finally, to the creation of monarchies.  The monarch controlled the city-state and was in charge of:  Executive power: government  Legislative power: law  Military power: army  Religious power: connections to de god  Judicial power: justice
  • 7.  He was advised by civil servants and scribes (bureaucracy) that collected taxes, applied the orders and the laws…  He controlled the population through the army and the priests.
  • 8. SOCIETY  Population increased thanks to the production of food and the prosperity achieved through commerce.  They were urban civilizations. Most of the people lived in the city- state.  The social division increased. It was connected to their function
  • 9. Monarch Priests Army and Scribes (civil servants) Peasants, Farmers, Merchants, Traders… Slaves
  • 10.  Mesopotamian hierarchy: privileged groups and non-privileged groups.  Privileged-groups: controlled the power and the wealth.  The Monarch  The priests  The army and the civil servants  Non-privileged groups: produced the products needed by society  Farmers, peasants, stockbreeders…  Merchants, traders, craftsman...  Slaves: group without rights. They were their master’s property. They became slaves through conquest (war prisoners) or debts.
  • 11. MESOPOTAMIAN RELIGION  Polytheistic: their gods were similar to human beings but they were immortal.  Temples were the god’s residences on Earth. They were built on stepped pyramids called ziggurats.  Each city-state was under the protection of a god.  They believed in life after death and buried their dead with everything they would possibly
  • 12. MESOPOTAMIAN CULTURE  The Sumerian people are believed to be the first ones to develop a written language.  Cuneiform writing consisted of signs drawn on clay tablets with a reed.  Writing made it possible to organize the state by recording government issues and business transactions.
  • 13.  The first schools were created here to train scribes. Only male children from rich families went to school.  The Code of Hammurabi is one of the earliest legal codes in history.  Engraved on a rock around 1800 BC.  Based on the law of retaliation (“an eye for an eye”).
  • 14. MESOPOTAMIAN ART: ARCHITECTURE  Materials: brick and adobe (bricks of clay and straw)  To sustain the ceiling they invented the arch and the vault.  Walls were decorated with brightly coloured glazed ceramics with floral motives, geometric designs, scenes of war…  Type of buildings:  Palaces  Ziggurats (temples)
  • 15.  Ziggurats: temples built at the center of the city. They were the house of god on Earth.
  • 16. MESOPOTAMIAN ART: SCULPTURE  Materials: gold, lapis, clay, wood…  Types:  Statues (not attached)  Reliefs (different carving techniques)  Themes:  Men and women worshipping  Kings  Military or hunting scenes…
  • 17.  Examples:  King Gudea of Lagash  Standard of Ur (2700 B.C.)  Doorway of the Khorsabad palace: Lamassu (bull with human head and wings to protect the king from visible and invisible enemies)
  • 18. MESOPOTAMIAN POLITICAL EVOLUTION  Mesopotamia was divided into 2 regions inhabited by two different people:  The Assyrians in the north  The Akkadians and Sumerians who lived in the South.  The political evolution of Mesopotamia is marked by an alternation of power between these peoples.
  • 19. Mesopotamian empires:  The Sumerians.  The Akkadian Empire  The Babylonian Empire  The Assyrian Empire  The Persian Empire
  • 20.  The Sumerians: city of Sumer. Controlled the territory organized in different city-states during the 3rd millenium.  Akkadian Empire: the city of Akkad controlled the cities of Lower Mesopotamia between the year 2330 BC and the year 2200 B.C. when the empire disappeared and a long period of division started.  Babylonian Empire: around 1800 the city of Babylon founded an empire that was going to last until the 900 BC. (Code of Hammurabi)  Assyrian Empire: expanded from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean sea. Main cities Asur and Ninive. From the 9th century BC to the 6th century whe it was conquered by the Persians.
  • 21. WHAT DID MESOPOTAMIANS DO FOR US?
  • 22. Developed by María Jesús Campos Chusteacher wikiteacher

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