Mesopotamia

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Mesopotamia

  1. 1. <ul><li>REVIEW: </li></ul><ul><li>vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Geography </li></ul><ul><li>Sumer – the first civilization </li></ul><ul><li>Legacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Science & technology </li></ul></ul>Mesopotamia The Cradle of Civilization <ul><li>Religion </li></ul><ul><li>Akkadians </li></ul><ul><li>Babylonia =chaldean Old Babylonia </li></ul><ul><li>Assyria </li></ul>
  2. 2. <ul><li>Vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Mesopotamia = from Greek, Between the Rivers = </li></ul><ul><li> The Tigris & Euphrates Rivers </li></ul><ul><li>Levee = a natural raised platform of earth to confine a waterway (see Echoes , page 40) </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Polytheism = many gods </li></ul><ul><li>Monotheism = one god </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigation = canals created to bring water from the rivers to dry areas </li></ul><ul><li>anthropomorphic = attribution of human form, characteristics, or behavior to deities (gods/goddesses) in mythology </li></ul>Cuneiform = Sumerian script – from Latin - cuneus = &quot;wedge,&quot; forma = &quot;shape.&quot;
  4. 4. <ul><li>Pictograph = picture writing </li></ul><ul><li>A picture that represents idea </li></ul><ul><li>Epic = long narrative poem </li></ul><ul><li>Ziggurat = Sumerian temples </li></ul>Early pictographic tablet 3100 BCE <ul><li>Cylinder Seal = cylinder used to </li></ul><ul><li>seal letters & documents (stamp) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Geography North – Taurus Mountains North East – Zagros Mountains
  6. 6. <ul><li>Geography – continues </li></ul><ul><li>South to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers a huge desert </li></ul><ul><li>Little rainfall </li></ul><ul><li>Hot and dry climate </li></ul><ul><li>violent and unpredictable flooding of the rivers </li></ul><ul><li>Arid soil containing little minerals </li></ul><ul><li>No stone or timber resources </li></ul><ul><li>Natural levees created by deposited sediments after flooding over thousands of years </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Natural levee: create a high and safe flood plain made irrigation and canal construction easy provide protection reeds growing on the river banks provided food for cattle reeds used as building resources Wetland (swamps) in the area provided fish & waterfowl Question: how did this harsh environment affect the people? (See textbook p. 40)
  8. 8. <ul><li>Flooding of the Tigris River in Iraq, March 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Bottom picture – before the flood </li></ul><ul><li>Top picture – a month later during the flood </li></ul>Image Courtesy NASA earth observatory The Tigris River as seen from space
  9. 9. <ul><li>The Tigris River </li></ul><ul><li>Approximately 1,900 km (1,150 miles) </li></ul><ul><li>Origins in the Taurus Mountains in Eastern Turkey </li></ul><ul><li>The Euphrates River </li></ul><ul><li>Approximately 2,781 km long (1,700 miles) as seen from space </li></ul>
  10. 10. Sumer - the first civilization Study the “Standard of Ur” in Echoes, page 45, and list the innovations that made Sumeria a successful civilization. (follow the criteria for civilization on p.37) The &quot;Standard of Ur&quot; (2600 BC ) <ul><li>In southern Mesopotamia </li></ul><ul><li>Approximately 3500-2000 BCE </li></ul><ul><li>First to create: </li></ul><ul><li>Government - Monarchy </li></ul><ul><li>Writing – cuneiform </li></ul><ul><li>Large city-states such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ur, Lagash, Eridu </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Legal system </li></ul><ul><li>Calendar (lunar) </li></ul><ul><li>Formal religion (polytheistic and anthropomorphic) </li></ul><ul><li>The wheel </li></ul><ul><li>Trade – barter </li></ul>
  11. 11. Writing
  12. 12. writing - cuneiform <ul><li>Pictograms: A picture used to symbolize a word or phrase </li></ul>Scribes used a writing tool with a squared-off end instead of a point. The end of this tool was used to press wedge shapes like these into clay tablets.                          bird                       head              barley c. 3100
  13. 13. <ul><li>Writing allowed </li></ul><ul><li>the transmission of knowledge, </li></ul><ul><li>the codification of laws, </li></ul><ul><li>records to facilitate trade / farming </li></ul><ul><li>Sumerians wrote on wet clay tablets with the point of a reed then dried in the sun to make a tablet </li></ul><ul><li>Only scribes read and write </li></ul>Writing tool - Each wedge was made by pressing the writing tool into the clay at an angle. On this tablet the signs the for the city of Lagash appear together inside a box.                                                                                                                     
  14. 14. The Legal System The god Shamash gives Hammurabi the code of laws <ul><li>282 laws inscribed on a stone pillar placed in the public hall for all to see </li></ul><ul><li>The earliest laws preserved </li></ul><ul><li>Based on principle of retribution – “an eye for an eye” </li></ul><ul><li>Punishment exactly fit the crime </li></ul><ul><li>All not equal under the law </li></ul><ul><li>Women & children property of father = patriarchal society </li></ul><ul><li>The victim or victim’s family to punish the guilty </li></ul>King Hammurabi Study the pictures above. Explain the meaning. How can this be seen as propaganda?
  15. 15. <ul><li>Science and Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Calendar </li></ul><ul><li>Math – decimals, units of 60 for time </li></ul><ul><li>Wheel </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigation </li></ul><ul><li>Building techniques – mud bricks – ziggurats, palaces </li></ul><ul><li>Medicine – surgeons performed delicate surgeries i.e. Hammurabi’s laws </li></ul>Tablet containing mathematics exercises and questions, written in Akkadian dating back to around 1700 BCE.
  16. 16. Religion Polytheistic religion consisting of over 3600 gods and demigods Prominent Mesopotamian gods Enlil (supreme god & god of air) Ishtar (goddess of fertility & life) An (god of heaven) Enki (god of water & underworld) Shamash (god of sun and giver of law) Ishtar (with mace) and Shamash (on right) receiving worshippers
  17. 17. Some of the Mesopotamian gods/goddesses and other mythological characters
  18. 18. <ul><li>Religion </li></ul><ul><li>Believed that the world is controlled by gods and goddesses </li></ul><ul><li>Believed that gods created humans to be their slaves </li></ul><ul><li>Kingship believed to be created by gods and the king’s power was divinely ordained </li></ul><ul><li>Belief that gods lived on the distant mountaintops </li></ul><ul><li>Each god had control of certain things and each city was ruled by a different god </li></ul><ul><li>Kings and priests acted as interpreters as they told the people what the god wanted them to do </li></ul>Ea (Enki) Ea is the god of fresh waters known as 'apsu' on which the Earth floats. He is a god of wisdom, farming, building, magic and arts and crafts.                
  19. 19. At the beginning of time there were only gods and goddesses on earth. They had to work the land to grow crops to eat. This was difficult and they worked very hard Each god and goddess had a job to do. Some dug the fields and planted the crops. Others brought water to the fields in ditches which had to be kept clear of weeds. The work was hard, and they were not happy. They got together to discuss what could be done to lighten their workload.
  20. 20. They went to get advice from Enki, who was wise and clever. Enki was fast asleep in his underwater house Enki suggested that he create creatures to serve them by working the land. Then the gods' and goddesses' lives would be easier. The gods and goddesses thought that Enki's plan was a good solution. Enki collected clay from around his watery home and used it to make humans.
  21. 21. He breathed life into the clay figures, but he limited how long they would live. Only the gods and goddesses would live forever. The humans were put to work in the fields. As servants of the gods and goddesses they had to provide them with food and drink for their tables. The humans took water from the rivers and fed the dry and lifeless lands. They dug the soil and planted crops.
  22. 22. With hard work the humans brought life to the land, and the gods and goddesses, who had brought life to the humans, were happy......... for the moment........... http://www.mesopotamia.co.uk/gods/story/sto_set.html
  23. 23. Epic of Gilgamesh Vs. Noah’s Ark – Similarities, Differences, Significance <ul><li>Gilgamesh </li></ul><ul><li>A real King of Uruk 2,700 BCE </li></ul><ul><li>Hero of the Epic </li></ul><ul><li>On Quest for Immortality </li></ul><ul><li>The Epic – 12 tablets that contain the Sumerian mythology, including the story of creation. </li></ul><ul><li>Noah </li></ul><ul><li>Appears in chapters 6 – 8 of Genesis </li></ul><ul><li>“ righteous among men” </li></ul><ul><li>God chooses him to be saved from a catastrophic flood </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Akkadians </li></ul><ul><li>Leader: Sargon the Great </li></ul><ul><li>Sargon unified lower Mesopotamia (after conquering Sumerians in 2331 BCE) </li></ul><ul><li>Established capital at Akkad </li></ul><ul><li>Adopted and spread Sumerian culture </li></ul><ul><li>However, short-lived dynasty as Akkadians were conquered by 2200 BCE </li></ul>
  25. 25. Babylonia <ul><li>Babylonians reunited Mesopotamia in 1830 BCE central location dominated trade and secured control Mesopotamia was not unified for long … </li></ul><ul><li>Hammurabi was an Amorite or Old Babylonian </li></ul><ul><li>Amorites – Semitic people </li></ul><ul><li>Hammurabi unified Mesopotamia by 1760 BCE </li></ul>
  26. 26. Assyria <ul><li>10th century BCE, </li></ul><ul><li>Assyria emerged as dominant force in the north </li></ul><ul><li>City of Assur- became important trading and political centre </li></ul><ul><li>After Hammurabi’s death, Babylon fell apart and kings of Assur controlled surrounding area </li></ul><ul><li>conquered lands to pay taxes (food, animals, metals or timber) </li></ul><ul><li>Rule by fear as kings were first to have a permanent army made up of professional soldiers </li></ul><ul><li>Made superior weapons of bronze and iron </li></ul><ul><li>iron changed lifestyles in Mesopotamia in weapons and in daily life ie. </li></ul><ul><li>replaced wooden wheels and applied to horse drawn chariots </li></ul>
  27. 27. This is a section of wall relief from the palace of the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II. The palace was built at Nimrud in about 875 B.C.

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