Mesopotamian civilization

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Mesopotamian civilization

  1. 1. MESOPOTAMIANCIVILIZATION
  2. 2. MESOPOTAMIA”MEANS LANDBETWEEN THE RIVERSLOCATION: Located between two rivers – Tigris & Euphrates Both rivers flow into Persian Gulf Located in present day IraqGEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES: Abundant amount of clay was available. Few natural resources. 2
  3. 3. The southern part of Mesopotamia formed by the river deposits is flat lowland. Tigris and Euphrates created fertile river basins.CLIMATIC CONDITIONS: The climate of the region is semi-arid. Pouring rains - during the short winter. During spring – the snow in the mountains melts and rivers overflow resulting floods. Hot & dry climate Little rainfallANCIENT MESOPOTAMIA- SUMERIANCIVILIZATION: Believed to be settled in 3000 b.c. Divided into city-states Helped to develop the first form of organized religion Created one of the earliest form of writing 3
  4. 4. CITY-STATES Always in constant conflict over water rights and land Created walls for protection Farms were located outside of the citySUMERIANS INVENTED: Wheel Time – 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute 12 month lunar calendar arch rampRELIGION IN MESOPOTAMIA: Mesopotamian religion was the first to be recorded. 4
  5. 5. Religion was Polytheistic – worshipping many gods & goddesses Ziggurats: pyramid site of the temple of the main gods. o Each city-state had their own gods and goddesses o Sun god – most important. Life after death was an extension of life.“ZIGGURATS” – HOLY MOUNTAINS:Gods were worshipped at huge temples calledZiggurats. 5
  6. 6. RECONSTRUCTION OF ZIGGURAT AT UR:MYTHS: Believed that the world was a flat disc, surrounded by a huge, holed space and heaven is above that. Believed that water was everywhere, the top, bottom and sides, and that the universe was born from this enormous sea.WRITING – “CUNEIFORM”: Cuneiform is created by pressing a pointed stylus into a clay tablet. 6
  7. 7. Needed for religion, government & trade.CUNEIFORM: Over 20,000 books were found at a library in the city of Nineveh The books were made out of clay. Papyrus was not available so they used clay to make tablets for writing. Hammurabi’s code was also carved on stone in cuneiform.ECONOMY: RICH POOR Government Officials Farmers Religious Leaders Craftsmen 7
  8. 8. TradersAGRICULTURE Agriculture is possible only with irrigation Need for irrigation led the Sumerians, and later the Akkadians, to build their cities along the Tigris and Euphrates The rivers provided the further benefits of fish (used both for food and fertilizer), reeds, and clay (for building materials).THE INVENTION OF AGRICULTURECHANGED THE WAY PEOPLE LIVED: Agriculture (Farming) Growth of Cities Division of Labor (Specialization) 8
  9. 9. Trade Writing and MathematicsSOCIETY: Commerce & trade helped determine social position in Mesopotamian society (occupations inc. builders, judges, & surgeons) Ownership of land & attempts to maintain ownership also helped define social position Most importantly FAMILY defined social position & a network of supportFAMILY LIFE: Patriarchal society Elders were respected Only royal offspring’s went to schools Boys were taught their father’s trade Girls stayed at home and learnt household chores 9
  10. 10. WOMEN’S RIGHTS IN MESOPOTAMIA: Owned property Operated businesses Get divorce (if had good reason) Could recover their dowry if seeking divorceHOUSES: Materials used – mud bricks & mud plaster Square center room with other rooms attached to it Poor people used reed for building housesGOVERNMENT: Sumerians were ruled by monarchs. The government & temples owned & cultivated large areas of land o Manual work done by low class labourers o Exported wool & textiles for metals Frequent wars led to the emergence of warriors as leaders. 10
  11. 11. FESTIVALS: Ancient Mesopotamians had ceremonies each month. The theme of the rituals and festivals for each month is determined by six important factors: The phase of the Moon The phase of the annual agricultural cycle Equinoxes and solstices The local myths and its divine Patrons The success of the reigning Monarch Commemoration of specific historical events.MUSIC: Songs were written for the gods and also to describe important events Oud is a small, stringed musical instrument used by the Mesopotamians.GAMES: 11
  12. 12. HUNTING – POPULAR AMONG ASSYRIAN KINGS BOXING WRESTLINGAKKADIANS: Spoke a Semitic Language related to modern Hebrew and Arabic 12
  13. 13. PERSIANS: Present day Iran Spoke an Indo-European Language Zoroastrianism o Belief in final judgment and training for it.CHALDEANS: Skilled astronomers Hanging Gardens of Babylon King Nebuchadnezzar built them for his wife o One of the Ancient Wonders of the World 13
  14. 14. BABYLONIANS: Chief god: Marduk o Prayed for good harvest and success in business. King Hammurabi Hammurabi’s Code o Earliest code of law o Based on equal retaliation.HAMMURABI’S CODE: 282 laws. Harsh punishment for crimes. Based on equal retaliation. 14
  15. 15. Laws were varied for the wealthy and powerful.HITTITES: Iron WeaponsLYDIANS: First to use a money economy. o An economic system based in the use of money as a measure of value and a unit of account.PHOENICIANS: Major natural resource: lumber from cedar forests. 15
  16. 16. Invented the art of glassblowing. Alphabet o Then adopted by Greeks and RomansASSYRIANS: Chief god Assur Chariots used First Cavalry THE END 16

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