Chapter 2 Section 3 Notes

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Chapter 2 Section 3 Notes

  1. 1. Section 3 Notes
  2. 2. Fertile Crescent---arc of land that curves from the Persian Gulf to the eastern Mediterranean coast Named because of the dark, rich soils Mesopotamia---means “between the rivers”---Tigris and Euphrates Sumer was located in the Fertile Crescent between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers
  3. 3. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers frequently rose in terrifying floods that washed away topsoil and destroyed mud-brick villages Epic of Gilgamesh---Sumerian poem that tells of a great flood that destroys the world Archaeologists found evidence that a catastrophic flood devastated the Fertile Crescent about 4,900 years ago
  4. 4.  Around 3200BC, the first Sumerian cities emerged in the southern part of Mesopotamia  The Sumerians had few natural resources and lacked building materials such as timber and stone  Sumerians built their houses out of earth and water  They made bricks of clay, shaped in wooden molds and dried in the sun  The Sumerians made the first wheeled vehicles!!!
  5. 5. Each Sumerian city-state had a distinct social hierarchy 1. Ruling family and priests; 2. lesser priests and scribes---merchants and artisans; 3. peasant farmers; 4. slaves
  6. 6. The Sumerians had polytheistic religious beliefs The Sumerian gods were thought to control every aspect of life, especially the forces of nature Each city had a ziggurat---a pyramid- temple where they worshipped their gods
  7. 7.  Like the Egyptians, the Sumerians believed in an afterlife  However, they saw the underworld as a grim place from which there was no release  Differences in geography may explain this  The floods of the Tigris and Euphrates were less regular and more destructive than those of the Nile. As a result, Sumerians may have developed a pessimistic view of the world.
  8. 8. By 3200BC, the Sumerians have invented what may be the earliest known form of writing Cuneiform---used a reed pen to make wedge-shaped marks on clay tablets Advances in mathematics---basic algebra and geometry, divided their hour into 60 minutes, divided their circle into 360

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