Rise of Sumerian City States
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  • 1. CHAPTER 4: The Rise of Sumerian City-States
  • 2. Mesopotamia:The land between the rivers
    Tigris & Euphrates Rivers
    Modern-day Iraq
    1st cities appear In Sumer
    LINK: Interactive Timeline & Map
  • 3. City-States
    Earliest cities date back to 3500 BCE
    Each city was like a small, independent country
    Each had its own ruler
    Each had its own farmlands
  • 4. A Difficult Environment
    Mesopotamians were farmers
    Farms need water
    4 Key Problems:
    Food shortages in the hills
    Uncontrolled water supply on the plains
    Difficulties building and maintaining irrigation systems to serve several villages at once
    Attacks by neighboring communities
    Q: What might neighbors fight over?
  • 5. Food Shortages
    By 5000 BCE there is not enough land in the foothills to grow enough food for everyone
    Climate:
    Foothills: mild weather, plentiful rain, timber for building
    Plains: dry, little rain, no trees or stones for building, rivers that flood
    The plains were called Sumer and the people who lived there were called Sumerians
    Q: Why did people move to the plains?
  • 6. Uncontrolled Water Supply in the River Valley
    Spring: rain and melted snow from the mountains flood the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
    Rest of the year: sunbaked soil, dry, hard as stone
    Either too much water or not enough
    Sumerians built levees & dams
  • 7. Euphrates river canal
  • 8. Building and Maintaininga Complex Irrigation System
    Canals bring water from the river
    Irrigation passed through many villages
    Silt clogs canals
    Working together helped communities grow
    SILT
    VERY FINE MUD
  • 9.
  • 10. Attacks by Neighboring Communities
    Cities fought over the right to use water.
    The plains offer no natural barriers for protection.
    Sumerians build walls to protect their cities.
  • 11.
  • 12. Was Ancient Sumer a Civilization?
  • 13. Sumerian Civilization
  • 14. Summary
    The people of Mesopotamia solved problems in order to live successfully in their environment
    Their solutions led to building large walled city states
    Sumer had a complex social structure, government, religion, and culture
    Sumer was one of the world’s first civilizations