Rise of Sumer
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  • 1.  The first cities appeared in southern (1) MESOPOTAMIA. This became the civilization of (2) SUMER. Sumer was a civilization of (3) CITY-STATES, or cities that acted like small independent countries with their own leaders Why did this happen?
  • 2.  As you know, the (4) TIGRIS AND EUPHRATES RIVER PLAIN is a difficult environment. The rivers flooded the land in the spring due to (5) MELTING MOUNTAIN SNOW. The rest of the year it (6) RARELY RAINED and the sun-baked soil was as hard as a rock.
  • 3.  (7) LEVEES were dug along the banks of the rivers to stop flooding. (8) CANALS were dug to shape the path of the water. (9) DAMS were built to force the water where they wanted. This created (10) RESERVOIRS of water.
  • 4.  Building and maintaining an irrigation system is hard work. Canals had to be maintained as they clogged with (11) SILT, or very fine mud. Hundreds of people had to work together. Villages grew to towns and between (12) 3500-3000BC, these towns grew into the world’s first cities. The city-states of Sumer.
  • 5.  As Sumerian city-states grew they fought over the use of (13) WATER. City-states upstream blocked the water from getting downstream. This led to the first civilization bloodshed. By 3000BC the city-states of Sumer had (14) WALLS surrounding their cities as well as (15) MOATS to protect the people from attack.