An Mesopotamia civilization


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An Mesopotamia civilization

  1. 1. History Project Presented by: - Aakanksha Jariwala - Nirav Jariwala - Tanvi Tanawala - Shyam Jariwala - Vijay Limbasiya
  2. 2. Mesopotamia “The Cradle of Civilization”  The word 'Mesopotamia' is in origin a Greek name (mesos `middle' and 'potamos' - 'river' so `land between the rivers'). Home to the first civilizations to develop the basics of technology and culture.  First Cities developed around 3500 B.C.  Major Civilizations included – Sumeria – Babylonia – Assyria
  3. 3. Extent  Between tigris and euphrates river.  Northern Mesopotamia made up of hills and plains  Land is fertile most of the year because of the rains,rivers and streams.  Southern Mesopotamia made up of marshy flat barren plains.  Irrigation system  300 miles long and 150 miles wide
  4. 4. Time Line
  5. 5. Political  The Mesopotamians believed their kings and queens were descended from the city gods but, they never believed their kings were actually gods  Kings often named them selves “king of the universequot; or “great king”  Kings had to look after their people.  King Hammurabi created a set of rules containing the crimes and their punishments. And citizen conduct.
  6. 6. Economics  Poor people mostly had to depend on crops because they had little money.  Rich people had slaves and easier ways of obtaining food.  Farming one main way to get food and other needs.  Barter systems were used
  7. 7. Sumer . 3500-2006 B.C  First Civilization  Converted open villages into walled cities  Cities became city-states ruled by strong leaders  Developed a system of writing, metal working and were early users of wheel  Greatest leader- Sargon the Great
  8. 8. Invention of wheel The wheel is probably the most important mechanical invention of all time. Nearly every machine built since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution involves a single, basic principle embodied in one of mankind’s truly significant inventions. It’s hard to imagine any mechanized system that would be possible without the wheel or the idea of a symmetrical component moving in a circular motion on an axis. From tiny watch gears to automobiles, jet engines and computer disk drives, the principle is the same. Based on diagrams on ancient clay tablets, the earliest known use of this essential invention was a potter’s wheel that was used at Ur in Mesopotamia (part of modern day Iraq} as early as 3500 BC. The first use of the wheel for transportation was probably on Mesopotamian chariots in 3200 BC. It is interesting to note that wheels may have had industrial or manufacturing applications before they were used on vehicles.
  9. 9. The Sumerians improved upon the wheel by using it as transportation on their chariots. Later, ancient Egyptians also used wheeled chariots. The spoked wheel was a huge advancement in the development of the wheel. It is still used today. The wheel is at least part of the concept in most modern inventions. There are many modern inventions that came into fruition with help from the ingenious wheel. Without the wheel, there would be no automobiles, no airplanes, no space launches, and no turbine engines.
  10. 10. Babylonia 1792-539 B.C.  Inherited culture of Sumer  Became seat of strong central government  Great cultural and religious center  Babylon became greatest city in the world  Created the 60-minute hour  Created a calendar with 12 lunar months  Created advanced multiplication tables  Greatest leader- Hammurabi
  11. 11. Assyria 1115-612 B.C.  Conquered Babylon with chariots, battering rams and armored horses  Forced the conquered into slave labor  Built cities with ornate palaces and temples  Developed a sewage system  Opened trade links with other kingdoms  Greatest leaders- Tiglath-pileser III, Senacherib and Ashurbanipal II
  12. 12. Government  Mesopotamia did not have protection from natural boundaries .  This led to constant migrations of Indo-European people from the area between the Black and Caspian seas.  This lead to a constant migration and 'Cultural Diffusion', or the process where an existing culture adopts the traits of another and the two eventually merge into a new culture.  As a result, a strong central government failed to develop in Mesopotamia.  The dominant political unit was the 'City-State', a small area surrounding a large, complex city.
  13. 13. Religious  Believed the world was a flat disc surrounded by space. Above it was the heavens.  Polytheistic.  Ziggurats were built to connect heaven to earth  Built of mud bricks  Religious events held at temple (learning).  Every city had their own god or goddess who owned everything and everyone.  4 gods created and controlled universe. God of heaven god of air god of water and goddess of earth.
  14. 14. For thousands of years, Nippur was the religious center of Mesopotamia. According to Sumerian religion, it was at Nippur where Enlil, the supreme god of the Sumerian pantheon, created mankind. Although never a capital city, Nippur had great political importance because royal rule over Mesopotamia was not considered legitimate without recognition in its temples. Thus, Nippur was the focus of pilgrimage and building programs by dozens of kings including Hammurabi of Babylon and Ashurbanipal of Assyria.
  15. 15. Languages  Mesopotamians had one of the first recorded languages .It was invented to keep track of farming and trade .The form of writing, called Pictograms that was used by the Mesopotamians was very simple. One mark indicated a number, the other indicated what was being counted. The writing was done by marking wet clay with a reed. Efficient and easy as this was it became much more difficult with higher numbers.  Gradually this system became out-dated and indograms came into use. Indograms solved the problem but were very difficult and hard to learn because a differant symbol was used for each word. The next step became phonetic writing. Phonetic writing is the type of writing that we, and most other countries use. With all three forms of writing one problem remained; it took many years of study to learn how to read and write .Those who did earned the title of quot;scribequot;.  The Mesopotanian economy was based on farming. Irrigated fields provided the Mesopotamians with everything they needed to live. In Sumer you couldn't own your own land. The land was rented from the temple which controlled the land on behalf of the gods .All profits were consdtered to belong to the gods.
  16. 16. Leaders  Sargon (2350-2330 BC) –First in his dynasty –Usurper –Moved capital to Akkad –Succeeded by his two sons  Hammurabi (1792-1750) – Obtains monopoly over Mesopotamia by clever politics and military success – important cultural revival because of the large number of texts known
  17. 17. Fragment from the Stele of the Vultures, erected by Eannatum of Lagash. It depicts the battle of Umma with Eannatum of Lagash defeating the king of Umma, included is a professional phalanx. Circa 2525 B.C.
  18. 18. Sargon of Akkad unifies Mesopotamia: world’s first empire, ca. 2240 B.C.
  19. 19. Reign of Hammurapi of Babylon, 1792-1750 B.C. The Law Code of Hammurapi
  20. 20. Handcraft and ornament
  21. 21. Religion ZIGGURATS  Temples were originally built on platforms. Usually temples were base on platform. Eventually it was decided to build even higher temples on platforms which were stepped.  These stepped towers we call ziggurats. By 2000 B.C. mud-brick ziggurats were being constructed in many Sumerian cities. Later, ziggurats were constructed in Babylonian and Assyrian cities.  The temple, as the center of worship, was also the center of every city.  Around the year 2000 B.C., temple towers began to be built to link heaven and earth. The towers, called ziggurats, were very large, pyramid-shaped structures on top of which the temple was built. The ziggurats were built of mud
  22. 22. The Mesopotamians believed that these pyramid temples connected heaven and earth. In fact, the ziggurat at Babylon was known as Etemenankia or quot;House of the Platform between Heaven & Earthquot;. The ziggurats were often decorated with pillars and other ornamentation. At first, religious events were held at the temple. Later, as a priesthood developed, the temple became the center of both religion and learning for the entire community. No one knows for certain why ziggurats were built or how they were used. They are part of temple complexes, so they were probably connected with religion. Here some photo’s of ziggurat
  23. 23. Gods and Goddesses  The principal Mesopotamian Gods were identified with the forces of nature, such as Anu (sky god), Sin (moon god), Enki (water god), and Enlil (wind god). See Sumerian Gods and Goddesses  The goddess Ishtar, goddess of love and war, was portrayed as the lover of the shepherd Dumuzi. Once, Ishtar descended to the underworld to challenge her sister Ereshkigal, the Queen of the Underworld. Ishtar was abused there but released in exchange for another god. While in the underworld, the world's fertility was disrupted. Upon her return, she found that her lover Dumuzi had not been mourning and so she sentenced him to the underworld.  His sister procured his release during the year in exchange for her presence in the underworld. While the connections with the cycle of the seasons is obvious, it is also clear that the story of Ishtar and Dumuzi was enacted by monarchs to ensure the fertility of the land.  The universe basically is seen as a stratification of two or three layers. Usually it consists of `heaven' (Sumerian an, Akkadian am*) and `earth' (Sumerian ki, Akkadian erSetum) or in other traditions as a tri-partition, either: 'heaven', 'earth' and 'Netherworld' or 'heaven', 'sky/atmosphere' and 'earth'.  The symbol for `heaven' AN has evolved from a pictographic representation of a star. Heaven is thus the upper level of the universe, all that is `high' or `elevated', and apparently associated with the celestial sphere.
  24. 24. Apsu: the fresh waters (male principle) Tiamat: the salt waters (female principle) Ea, the god of intelligence and wisdom, puts Apsu in a trance and then kills him. The statue of the god Marduk with his dragon, from a Babylonian cylinder seal. Marduk killed Tiamat.
  25. 25. These carved stone figures, their eyes wide with awe and their hands clasped in reverence, were placed in Mesopotamian temples by worshippers to stand in perpetual prayer on their behalf before the god or goddess to whom the sanctuary was dedicated. There were many gods. For example, Anu was the father of the gods and the god of the sky; Enlil was the god of the air; Utu was the sun god and the lord of truth and justice; Nanna While they served and revered the was the moon god; Inanna was great gods, most people felt little the goddess of love and war; connection with these distant beings. Ninhursag was the goddess of Ordinary people depended on a earth; and Enki was the god of relationship with their own personal fresh water as well as the lord god - a kind of guardian angel - who of wisdom and magic. protected individuals and interceded for them with the great deities.
  26. 26. Agricultural Revolution • 8000-7000 BC • Many civilization began • Three of the main were: Nile River in Africa  Tigris and Euphrates in Mesopotamia Jericho
  27. 27. Irrigation  The irrigation system is attested already in very ancient times, the earliest around 6000 BCE. Through a system of dikes, dams and canals the precipitation in the mountainous region in the north is used in the south.  This required a high level of organization of the society and collective efforts for the construction, maintenance, supervision and adjustments of the irrigation network.  Over-irrigation and limited drainage gradually brackished the fields, often causing ecological crisis.  Together with the change of river flow, it stimulates throughout the Mesopotamian history the foundation of new settlements and cities.Our knowledge about the history of irrigation networks is limited by the difficulty of dating most of the water works.
  28. 28. Climate  The climate is exceedingly hot, but also very humid - the floods often unpredictable.  Mesopotamians were at the mercy of their hostile environment, and believed themselves to be at the mercy of angry and irrational gods.  The civilization which produced one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the hanging gardens of Babylon, also compiled the Epic of Gilgamesh, a pessimistic portrayal of the futile search for immortality and human meaning.  City states rose and fell, empires rose and fell, yet the human spirit of the Mesopotamians endured.
  29. 29. Structure city temple substantial ceremonial hub Ziggurat of Ur Nammu
  30. 30. Interior Very little furniture survives from ancient Mesopotamia, principally because climatic conditions are not conducive to the preservation of wood.
  31. 31.  Furniture mounts of bronze and ivory has been excavated in the royal tombs at the city of UR, in ancient sumer.  in mud brick houses of the sumerians, duration probably was confined to a wide black or dark skirting painted in diluted with a band of some together color above. In the most elaborate assyrian palace the main decorative features were panels of alabaster and limestone carved in relief. Carved stone slaves were used as flooring, with typical mesopotamian rosetle and palmettle (stylized palm and leaf) border.
  32. 32. The State and Urban Revolution: In the city-state (or state), kin and tribal loyalties are, by definition, subordinated and replaced by political ties…. What makes a city-state different from an agricultural town is the synergy created by its people interacting with each other on the basis of political relationships rather than traditional blood ties.
  33. 33. The Beginnings of Writing Farmers needed to keep records. The Sumerians were very good farmers. They raised animals such as goats and cows (called livestock). Because they needed to keep records of their livestock, food, and other things, officials began using tokens. Tokens were used for trade. Clay tokens came in different shapes and sizes. These represented different objects. For example, a cone shape could have represented a bag of wheat. These tokens were placed inside clay balls that were sealed. If you were sending five goats to someone, then you would put five tokens in the clay ball. When the goat arrived, the person would open the clay ball and count the tokens to make sure the correct number of goats had arrived. The number of tokens began to be pressed on the outside of the clay balls. Many experts believe that this is how writing on clay tablets began. A system of writing develops. The earliest form of writing dates back to 3300 B.C. People back then would draw quot;word- picturesquot; on clay tablets using a pointed instrument called a stylus. These quot;word-picturesquot; then developed into wedge-shaped signs. This type of script was called cuneiform (from the Latin word cuneus which means wedge). Who used cuneiform? Not everyone learned to read and write. The ones that were picked by the gods were called scribes. Boys that were chosen to become scribes (professional writers) began to study at the age of 8. They finished when they were 20 years old. The scribes wrote on clay tablets and used a triangular shaped reed called a stylus to make marks in the clay. The marks represented the tens of thousands of words in their language.
  34. 34. THE ORIGINS OF WRITING: Tokens are small geometric clay objects (cylinders, cones, spheres, etc.) found all over the Near East from about 8000 B.C. until the development of writing. The earliest tokens were simple shapes and were comparatively unadorned; they stood for basic agricultural commodities such as grain and sheep. A specific shape of token always represented a specific quantity of a particular item. For example, quot;the cone ... stood for a small measure of grain, the sphere represented a large measure of grain, the ovoid stood for a jar of oil.quot; (Before Writing 161). Two jars of oil would be represented by two ovoids, three jars by three ovoids, and so on. Thus, the tokens presented an abstraction of the things being counted, but also a system of great specificity and precision.
  35. 35. THE DEVELOPMENT OF CUNEIFORM: The Sumerian writing system during the early periods was constantly in flux. The original direction of writing was from top to bottom, but for reasons unknown, it changed to left-to- right very early on (perhaps around 3000 BCE). This also affected the orientation of the signs by rotating all of them 90° counterclockwise. Another change in this early system involved the quot;stylequot; of the signs. The early signs were more quot;linearquot; in that the strokes making up the signs were lines and curves. But starting after 3000 BC, these strokes started to evolve into wedges, thus changing the visual style of the signs from linear to quot;cuneiformquot;.