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Mesopotamia
 

Mesopotamia

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    Mesopotamia Mesopotamia Presentation Transcript

    • Mesopotamia “Land Between the Rivers”
    • Geographic Setting
      • A crescent shaped region in the valley between the TIGRIS and EUPHRATES Rivers
      • Stretches from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea
      • Excellent farmland and water supply from the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
      • Very few geographic barriers enabled people, customs, and cultures to mingle = cultural diffusion
    • Map of Mesopotamia
    • Mesopotamian Civilization
      • First civilization in Mesopotamian was the Sumerians
      • Lived in political units called city states, which consisted of a city and its surrounding areas
      • The Sumerians were polytheistic, they believed in many gods and goddesses
        • Gods and goddesses were closely tied to nature
        • Ziggurats – large pyramid like temples in which people could climb steps to reach a shrine at the top
        • Keeping gods happy was important to the city state
    • Ziggurat
    • Government and Social Structure
      • Each city state had a ruler who held political power and was chief servant to the gods
      • Social Structure
        • Ruling family
        • Government officials, priests
        • Merchants, artisans
        • Peasants
    • Cuneiform
      • Wedge shaped writing system developed in Mesopotamia
      • Formed by pressing a pen like instrument called a stylus into soft clay tablets
    • Contributions
      • Built the first wheeled vehicles
      • Developed irrigation systems and canals
      • Explored mathematics, especially algebra and geometry
    • Code of Hammurabi
      • Developed by Hammurabi, the powerful ruler of Babylon
      • Best known for his laws, called
      • the Code of Hammurabi
      • First major collection of
      • WRITTEN laws in history
      • Favored higher classes
      • Punishment was very harsh
      • “Eye for an eye”