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Mesopotamian social structure
 

Mesopotamian social structure

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Project for Comparative Civilizations

Project for Comparative Civilizations

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Mesopotamian social structure Mesopotamian social structure Presentation Transcript

  • Mesopotamia Social Structure
  • The Slaves Slaves were the bottom of the social hierarchy, but were generally treated well All slaves were identified by their specific haircut. Had no rights, were owned by the wealthy, merchants, some even worked for commoners and worked in the temples, the palace, or on farms. Slaves were obtained as prisoners of war, or people who couldn’t pay debts. Sometimes they were offered as payment for a relatives debt. The civilizations of Mesopotamia would raid the hills for slaves from ‘Hill People’ tribes Law didn’t protect them, but attributed what rights they had to their owner,(e.g- if the slaves arm was broken, the owner would receive compensation)
  • The Commoners-The labouring lower-class of the kingdom-85% were in farming-The specialized tradesmen (non-farmers)were paid uniform wages from the surpluscollected from the farmers as taxes-Women enjoyed more rights than in othersocial orders-Had close family tiesWeren’t educated, boys were taught theirfather’s trade, girls were taught to care thehome and children by their mother
  • Merchants and Artisans Invented Cuneiform to document trade deals Traded ideas and products throughout the euphrates and tigris rivers, taking caravans as far as Egypt, Cyprus, and Lebanon Produced the wealth that made civilization possible Merchants would lead groups with barley and textiles to Asia minor, returning with timber, stone and metal Worked raw materials into tools, weapons, and jewellery T keep track of trade, they invented calendars, that were based on the o cycle of the moon (included 12 months, leaps years, and a zodiac)
  • The ScribesThey were the educated class,sons of the wealthyWere able to read and writeWorked for the palace, thegovernment, the army,merchants, or set up their ownbusiness as public writersWere nearly always menHad to undergo training andcomplete a specific program tobe called a scribe
  • The Priests They were the upper-class of society Influential because of the importance of religion and their relationship with the gods Controlled the distribution of land to farmers and crops to workers Ran the school Considered ‘doctors’ of the time
  • The King Pinnacle of the social order. Were ‘divinely ordained humans’ as believed by the Sumerians, or literal ‘gods on earth’ as the Assyrians believed. The word of a king was law Generally head of the army Were sometimes also priests
  • Impact on UsWomen had more rights than later civilizations, and it’s even believedthey served on the council to the King. Although their rights slowlybecame less as it became a more male-dominated societyFor the first time, power was shifting to Kings from religionHad schools and education with specialized occupations