Early civilisations


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Early civilisations

  2. 2. 1. THE BIRTH OF THE FIRST CIVILISATIONS They appeared in distinct places but share some characteristics: Chronology: around 6000 B.C Location: They appeared on the banks of large rivers:
  3. 3. They developed irrigation techniques that took advantage of the rivers´ water abundant harvest population growth the villages became cities They created a strong political power and hierarchical societies: - New skills emerged, e.g gold and silver smithing new social groups. Each group had a different status ( some people were more important than others) - Trade developed thanks to a transport system based on rivers - The government and public administration were created to organise the city - Kings or pharaohs ( divine) and priests had the power and decided the laws. - Society began to pay taxes - WRITING appeared around 3500 B.C . It was used for administration and commerce BEGINNING OF HISTORY
  4. 4. 2. MESOPOTAMIA : natural environment and history MESOPOTAMIA LAND BETWEEN RIVERS Tigris and Euphrates The location and fertility of its lands( very rich) made it attractive to live. Different groups of people settled there and built independent city states. These were conquered by different empires
  5. 5. These rivers , every spring when the ice melted, overflowed the valleys, fertilising the soil with mud ( silt). The land produced abundant harvests
  6. 6. Situated between: North West Taurus Mountains East: Zagros Mountain •Upper Mesopotamia: northern mountain region •Lower Mesopotamia: South region,marshes Syrian Desert The Persian Gulf It can be also divided into 3 regions: ASSYRIA AKKAD SUMER
  7. 7. 2.2 THE HISTORY OF MESOPOTAMIA The political history of Mesopotamia was defined by the alternating of power between different nations: SUMER In the third millennium B.C Sumerians had the hegemony. Organized themselves in independent city-states such us Ur, Uruk…. Invented writing Built dykes and canals AKKAD Around 2330 Sargon I of Akkad conquered Sumer . Around 2200 they were defeated and a long period of division took place BABYLONIA The city of Babylon dominated the rest of the territory and unified Mesopotamia. Babylonian Empire was founded. It reached its splendour in the time of King Hammurabi
  8. 8. ASSYRIA They created a great empire that went from Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean NEO-BABILONIA Babylonians became powerful again and conquered the Assyrians. Neo- Babylonian Empire was created. PERSIA In 539 BC the Persian conquest put and end to the Mesopotamian civilisation
  9. 9. The code of Hammurabi
  10. 10. WRITING The first writing ever know corresponds to the Sumerians around 3500 BC. People wrote on clay tablets that were left to dry. They wrote with a sharp reed. This kind of writing is known as cuneiform because the signs they wrote were composed of wedges. It was used for writing administration documents, account and laws.
  11. 11. The cuneiform alphabet and numbers
  12. 12. 3. LIFE AND CULTURE IN MESOPOTAMIA ECONOMY SOCIETY • The main economic activities were: • Agriculture: fields irrigated by water transported by a system of canals and dykes • Livestock • Trade • Craftwork: clay pots, wool cloth, leather work. • It was very hierarchical and divided into ranks. • The highest rank was occupied by the king who was all-powerful( political, military, religious power, lawmaker) • In a second rank were the ruling caste ( priest, public servants and rich people) • In the middle rank were the free people such as farmers, artisans.. • In the lower rank were the slaves • CITYS: had defensive walls. Houses had a rectangular courtyard but no windows.
  13. 13. Social pyramid class King Ruling caste Free people Imagen anaya pag 104 Slaves
  14. 14. Ishtar Gate ( Babylon)
  15. 15. RELIGION • • • • Mesopotamians were polytheistic( several gods) Gods were human-shaped but were immortal. They also believed in life after death. Temples were the houses of the gods • There were libraries. ARTS • Arts: epic of Gilgamesh, The code of Hammurabi. and SCIENCES • They made advances in sciences: maths, astronomy, medicine…
  16. 16. GODS Enki Isthar
  17. 17. ARCHITECTURE • Materials: adobe bricks. Marble and alabaster as decoration • They used arches and vaults. • Three types of buildings: • Palaces • Temples: They included ziggurats: tower with various storeys connected by stairs. The last level was a sanctuary and an astronomical observatory. • Statues: idealised images of gods and rulers • Reliefs: a way of decorating with designs that stick out a lot SCULPTURE • Size: The more important was the person the bigger they were shown. • The purpose of these sculptures was propaganda( heoric deeds)
  18. 18. Ziggurat of Ur
  19. 19. Stele of Naram-Sim
  20. 20. The wounded lion Gudea of Lagash