FIRST HISTORICAL CIVILIZATIONS: MESOPOTAMIA Elena García Marín
Four early River Valley Civilizations Mesopotamian Civilization - Tigris & Euphrates Rivers Egyptian Civilization - Nile River Indian Civilization - Indus River Ancient China - Huang He (Yellow) River
Sumerian Civilization :Tigris & Euphrates Rivers City-States in Mesopotamia
Geography of Mesopotamia Mostly dry desert climate in SW Asia (Middle East) Except in region between Tigris and Euphrates rivers SW Asia (the Middle East) Fertile Crescent A flat plain known as Mesopotamia lies between the two rivers It is called the Fertile Crescent because have a rich soil
City-States in Mesopotamia Although all the cities shared the same culture Each city had its own government, rulers, warriors, it’s own patron god, and functioned like an independent country Mesopotamian cities were Ur, Uruk, Kish, Lagesh At center of each city was the temple: a ziggurat (a massive, tiered, pyramid-shaped structure).
The Ziggurat at Ur was first excavated by British archaeologist Woolley in 1923.
Mesopotamian religion Mesopotamian warrior-god, gold figurine. ( 2.400-2.500 B.C.) They believed in many gods - polytheism Marduk, the Dragon god
Craftsmen and Peasants Slaves Scribes Priests King and nobility Mesopotamian Society
Three social classes a. Priests and nobility (kings) b. Craftmens and Merchants c. Ordinary workers: Peasants Slaves: were not free citizens Women h ad more rights than in many later civilizations, but not allowed to attend schools (could not read or write) Mesopotamian Society
Mesopotamian Society Powerful priests held much political power in the beginning. Military commanders eventually became monarch creating a new structure of government called a Dynasty. Dynasty is a series of rulers descending from a single family line
First Empire in Mesopotamia 3000 – 2000 B.C. the City-States began to war with each other. Sargon of Akkad (2350 B.C.) He t ook control of the region, creating world’s first empire - when several peoples, nations, or previously independent states are placed under the control of one ruler.
The Akkadian Empire lasted about 200 years, 2350–2150 B.C .
Babylonian Empire They overtook Sumerians around 2000 B.C. And they built capital, Babylon, on Euphrates river
The most famous king of Babylonian Empire was Hammurabi [1792-1750 B.C.] Famous Code of Law “ the punishment fits the crime” and “eye for an eye” He took all the laws of the region’s city-states and unified them into one code. This helped unify the region.
One of the first writing systems - Cuneiform Mesopotamian culture
The Epic of Gilgamesh is, perhaps, the oldest written story on Earth . It is about the adventures of the cruel King Gilgamesh of Uruk . It contains a “flood story” that predates the Hebrew Old Testament story of Noah by at least 2000 years. It was written on 12 clay tablets in cuneiform script. Mesopotamian culture