Mesopotamia (4)

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Mesopotamia Architecture Ancient Civilization

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Mesopotamia (4)

  1. 1. Mesopotamia
  2. 2. Between the Rivers Geography Promotes civilization
  3. 3. Geography??? • Farming began in southern Mesopotamia in 5500 BC • Flat, swampy region • The Tigris and Euphrates rivers often flooded during the spring • The floods left a very fertile mud, called silt – this made the soil very rich
  4. 4. Geographic Challenges • Little rain • Water from rainfall and snowmelt • Rivers overflow without warning • Rivers dry up
  5. 5. Methods of Controlling Water • developed methods to control water (i.e., basins, canals, dikes) • projects required organization!!! • complex government formed
  6. 6. Sumer: The Cities of Sumer • First civilization • 3,000 BC • mud brick buildings • Temples in the center • ziggurats rose to the sky • Walls surrounded the city • city-state - a political unit with its own government
  7. 7. Sumer: Religion and Government • polytheistic • The gods controlled nature • Each City-State had their own personal god The City’s Center Enlil Rain Storm
  8. 8. Sumerian priests • Priests held high status and governed the city- states • City-states battled for dominance • War chiefs began to rule as kings • Many of the city- states’ kings formed dynasties • A dynasty is a series of rulers from one family
  9. 9. Sumerian Culture: Writing • Cuneiform – Sumerian writing • Wedge-shaped symbols on clay tablets • first used to keep business accounts and other records • Epic of Gilgamesh • Scribes created written documents – this required years of schooling, but allowed one to move up in social class
  10. 10. Sumer: Scientific advancement • The Wheel • The Plow • Used bronze to make stronger weapons • Medical knowledge, and performed basic surgeries
  11. 11. Sumer: The Arts • Sumerian architecture: arches, ramps, and columns • Sumerian Sculpture: statues with large, wide-open eyes, as well as small objects carved out of ivory • cylinder seals
  12. 12. Empires in Mesopotamia • Frequent warfare weakened Sumer’s city- states. • Each new invader adapted parts of Sumerian culture into its own society Empires in Mesopotamia
  13. 13. Sargon’s Akkadian Empire • 2330 BCE • Sargon I – first to create a permanent army • Conquered all of Sumer and northern Mesopotamia • Akkad was the world’s first empire
  14. 14. Continued… • Used cuneiform as the main language for religion and literature • Kept the power of the priesthood • Empire lasted for 140 years • spread Sumerian culture • Tribes from the east invaded and captured Akkad
  15. 15. The Babylonian Empire • The Amorites settled in Babylon on the Eurphrates, near modern Baghdad, Iraq • Hammurabi became king of Babylon in 1792 BCE • He was a great warrior and UNITED all of Mesopotamia in what is known as the Babylonian Empire
  16. 16. Hammurabi • Great administrator • Managed buildings and projects • Improved the tax collection system • Increased trade • Honored old Sumerian gods • Allowed priests to retain their power • Schools continued to teach the Sumerian language and cuneiform writing
  17. 17. Hammurabi’s Code • Code of laws • 282 laws dealing with everything from trade and theft to injury and murder
  18. 18. Decline of Babylon • After Hammurabi’s death, Babylonian power declined • Less than 200 years later, the empire had fallen

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