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Contributions of Mesopotamia


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From the Sumerians through the Phoenicians and Persians, these are some of the innovations developed by the peoples and empire of this river valley region.

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Contributions of Mesopotamia

  1. 1. Contributions of Mesopotamia sections 2.1 & 2.2
  2. 2. Timeline of Mesopotamia Sumerians (5000 – 2370 BC) Akkadians (2370 – 2230 BC) Old Babylonians (1792 – 1595 BC) Hittites (1450 – 1200 BC) Assyrians (1305 – 609 BC) New Babylonians (626 – 539 BC) Persians (559 – 330 BC)
  3. 3. A. Law, Government, and Society Sumerians Independent City-States Distinct Social Hierarchy Powerful Kings Public Works Akkadians First Empire united Sumerian city-states into one empire Old Babylonians Hammurabi’s Code
  4. 4. A. Law, Government, and Society Assyrians set rituals, decorum, etiquette, and ceremonies for the royal household Persians 1. Cultural Diffusion & Unity practiced tolerance of conquered people in order to make them less likely to rebel allowed conquered people to practice their own customs and religion created a single law code from the laws of the different people he conquered hundreds of miles of road were either built or repaired making communication easier celebrated important festivals of the different diverse people in the empire
  5. 5. A. Law, Government, and Society Persians 2. Government divided the huge empire into satrapies (provinces) each headed by a satrap (like a governor) each province had to pay taxes based on its resources and wealth each satrap was observed by a special official (“the Eyes and Ears of the King”) 3. Economy a common set of weights and measures were established to standardize trade used a money economy where coins would be used for trade (this also helped unite the large empire by making trade easier)
  6. 6. B. Science and Technology Sumerians 1. 2. 3. Writing cuneiform Mathematics developed basic algebra and geometry base-6 number system for 60minute hour, and 360-degree circle Astronomy closer to astrology, the movement of the stars and planets gave clues about the will of the gods
  7. 7. B. Science and Technology Hittites Iron Making Assyrians First Library (Great Library of Nineveh) collected cuneiform tablets from all around the fertile crescent New Babylonians Astronomy
  8. 8. B. Science and Technology Phoenicians Tyrian Purple Glass Alphabet made trade easier when recording business transactions Established trading posts throughout the Mediterranean Sea
  9. 9. B. Science and Technology
  10. 10. C. Art & Architecture Sumerians mud-brick was the primary building material ziggurats were temples where people prayed and left offerings New Babylonians Hanging Gardens Ishtar Gate
  11. 11. D. Religion Sumerians polytheistic gods with human characteristics but immortal & control nature the afterlife was considered bleak regardless of one’s behavior in life Persians Zoroastrianism people could control the fate of their soul by choosing “sides” between good and evil
  12. 12. E. Literature Sumerians “Epic of Gilgamesh” first written epic includes tales and legends that may have basis in true events used to teach the reader about the morals and values of society