Applying The Eight To Sumer


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Applying The Eight To Sumer

  1. 1. Applying the eight characteristics of civilization: Graphic organizer note-taking from pp.35-37 and 38-44
  2. 2. Sumerians / Cities <ul><li>Ur </li></ul><ul><li>Erech </li></ul>
  3. 3. Sumerians / Well-organized central government <ul><li>Ruler responsible for maintaining infrastructure. </li></ul><ul><li>Armies fought wars; led by ruler. </li></ul><ul><li>Scribes collected taxes and kept records, such as grain harvests, laws, treaties, and business contracts. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Sumerians / Public works <ul><li>City walls maintenance. </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigation systems maintenance. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Sumerians / Complex religion <ul><li>Ruler was chief servant of the gods; conducted ceremonies to appease gods. </li></ul><ul><li>Mother-goddess at one point reflected the honored role of mother in farming communities. </li></ul><ul><li>Warrior-leaders replaced goddesses of the hearth with domineering male-figure gods. </li></ul><ul><li>Polytheistic: worshipped many gods, believed to control all aspects of life including forces of nature. These gods and goddesses behaved like humans, eating, drinking, marrying, bearing children. </li></ul><ul><li>Responsible for truth and justice AND violence and suffering. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Sumerians / MORE Complex religion <ul><li>Ziggurat: a pyramid-temple soaring toward the sky. </li></ul><ul><li>Shrine at top to honor chief god or goddess; sacrifices there to appease gods. </li></ul><ul><li>Chief priests recorded prayers and myths. </li></ul><ul><li>Ceremonies on holy days. </li></ul><ul><li>Inanna, goddess of love: “marriage” ritual promised prosperous new year. Doesn’t the same hedonistic festival occur every year at Times Square? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Sumerians / MORE Complex religion <ul><li>Belief in afterlife. </li></ul><ul><li>Underworld is a grim (bad) place. </li></ul><ul><li>The Epic of Gilgamesh gives an account of their understanding of hell. </li></ul><ul><li>Sumerians developed a pessimistic worldview due to ill effects of flooding. The CONJECTURE of the author demonstrates God-less bias. All religion is man-made is the premise! Good historiography would have ended with the Epic quote (p.36). </li></ul>
  8. 8. Sumerians / Social classes <ul><li>Social hierachy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ruling family, leading officials, high priests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then, lesser priests and scribes, merchants and artisans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then, peasant farmers, the majority of the society’s population </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slavery was common, too. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women held legal rights to trade and own property, but remained subservient to men. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Sumerians / Written language <ul><li>Cunieform (3200 B.C. – there’s that date again!) is “wedge” writing (reed pen to shape wedge marks on clay tablet). </li></ul><ul><li>Scribes attended years of schooling to learn their trade. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Sumerians / Art and architecture <ul><li>Schooling for scribes was very rigorous. </li></ul><ul><li>Best and brightest learned further about religion, medicine, mathematics, geography, astronomy, literature. </li></ul><ul><li>Mathematicians developed basic algebra and geometry; number six system. The sixty-minute hour and 360-degree circle. </li></ul><ul><li>Calendars. </li></ul><ul><li>The Epic of Gilgamesh . </li></ul>
  11. 11. Sumerians / Job specialization <ul><li>Rulers, leading officials, high priests. </li></ul><ul><li>Merchants, artisans, lesser priests, scribes. </li></ul><ul><li>Doctors, mathematicians, geographers, astronomers, writers. </li></ul>
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