Lecture 2MESOPOTAMIAINTRO TO WESTERN HUMANITIES
Civilization emerged independently in atleast four different locations centeredaround major river valleys.
In modern scholarship, Mesopotamia refersto the geographical area located in theregion of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers,...
There never was a country or state calledMesopotamia.Rather it refers to a geographical area and thevarious people that li...
Archeological evidence indicates thatagriculture and the elements ofcivilization (cities, monumentalarchitecture, writing)...
How do we know these dates?
1. Relative Dating                     2. Scientific Dating
Geographical ContextThe southern region of Mesopotamia,particularly the land of Sumer, was a flatand treeless expanse of r...
Climate ChangeClimate and coastline in Mesopotamia areachanged considerably during the millennialeading up to the developm...
Why the climate change?
The sudden (about 8400 BCE), then slow,draining of cold Glacial Lake Agassiz,raised global sea levels relativelysuddenly a...
Turney, C.S.M. and Brown, H. (2007) "Catastrophic early Holocene sea levelrise, human migration and the Neolithic transiti...
The sea level raise also transformedthe fresh water Black Sea Lake intothe salt water Black Sea.Some scholars claim the fl...
Urbanization
In a good year Mesopotamian farmerscould produce abundant crops with plentyof food left over.However, the region lacked ma...
Perhaps the most important trade activityrevolved around the new high technologyof the day: bronze.
Bronze making was a transformativetechnology. Not only could it makeweapons that stayed sharp, it wasamazingly versatile. ...
Scientists can actually trace where the tincame from in these ancient bronzeartifacts. Some tin came from what isnow Turke...
In the ancient city of Kanesh, we have written records of a communityof traders and merchants from Assur, a 19-day journey...
We know an enormous amount about these traders because we havefound 1000s and 1000s of their written letters (most dealing...
Sumerian City StatesThe city-state was the system of politicalorganization used in the southern part of theTigris– Euphrat...
UrukThis city-state is sometimes considered the firstMesopotamian city c. 3000 BCESoon after, other Sumerian city states d...
Uruk (today)The Euphrates River has shifted over time and the land occupied byUruk is now very arid.
Cone Mosaic from Uruk
Marble head from Uruk
Ziggurat at Ur: uncovered by Sir Leonard Woolley in the 1930s,partially reconstructed in 1980s under Saddam Hussein.
Sir Leonard Woolley and his team in the 1920s and 1930s excavated theancient Mesopotamian city of Ur.
Woolley and his team examined more than 1800burials from about 2500 BC. In the midst ofexcavations, Woolley noted, “We are...
PG1237 was the mostspectacular of Ur’s royaltombs.Woolley dubbed it “The GreatDeath Pit” and it included 6men and 68 women.
Inside PG789, the Big Man’s burial chamber. Woolley: “The body of thedead ruler inside the sealed chamber, while outside t...
According to Wooley, PG789 was the grave ofan unknown king, who left behind a lovingwife and queen so devoted that she wis...
In Ur, the king was called the Lu-gal, literally, the Big Man.
What the Standard of Ur was used for remains a mystery but itseems to have royal connections. It was buried in a royal gra...
“One side shows what must be any ruler’s dream of how a taxsystem should operate. In the lower two registers, peoplecalmly...
“From having a surplus, you get the emergence of classes,because some people can live off the labour of others, whichthey ...
Sumerian king list – specifies kings or queens and thelength of their reign from about 3000 to 1900 BCE. Oneof these is Gi...
Sumer decline and new empiresBy about 2000 BCE the Sumerian city states as acivilization was finished.Some have blamed env...
The oldest known dictionary/encylopedia is a series of 24cuneiform tablets from the Akkadian empire with bilingualwordlist...
Babylonians
Ishtar Gate was the eighth inner gate in Babylon.Now in Pergamon Museum in Berlin
The gate was in fact a double gate. The part that is shown in thePergamon Museum today is only the smaller, frontal part, ...
Assyrians
The Assyrians were from the land just tothe north of Mesopotamia, and havebecome a kind of by-word for ancientmilitarism.A...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaptainkobold/224511183
http://www.flickr.com/photos/calotype46/6671917417
Assyrian King Ashur-nasir-pal:“I built a pillar over the city gate, and I flayedall the chiefs that revolted. And I covere...
Assyrian King Ashurbanipal :“The tombs of their [the Elamites] old kings I destroyedand devastated. … For twenty miles I s...
Reconstruction of Nineveh. These carvings wouldhave been painted and would have served a clearpropaganda purpose: obey us ...
Notice the desolation/emptiness of theland where these Bulls, which onceadorned the palace at Nineveh (theAssyrian capital).
Even today, there is not much left ofNineveh excepts its walls.
Fall of AssyriaAfter existing as a continuous kingdom/empire fromabout 2000 BCE, Assyria was destroyed in 612 at theheight...
Modernreconstruction of asection of Nineveh’swalls
Nineveh’s30km of wallssuperimposedon Calgary
Shelly’s Poem OZYMANDIAS (1818)I met a traveller from an antique landWho said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stoneStand i...
We tend to think that our civilization andour way of life will last forever and is thepinnacle of human achievement.Yet ev...
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia
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Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia

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Second lecture for GNED 1202 (Texts and Ideas). It is a required general education course for all first-year students at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada. My version of the course is structured as a kind of Intro to Western Civilization style course.

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  • Robert Chadwick, First civilizations ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt (Oakville, Conn. : Equinox Pub., 2005).
  • Chadwick, Robert. First Civilizations : Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt.London, , GBR: Equinox Publishing Ltd, 2005. p 53.http://site.ebrary.com/lib/mtroyal/Doc?id=10386867&ppg=53Copyright © 2005. Equinox Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Robert Chadwick, First civilizations ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt (Oakville, Conn. : Equinox Pub., 2005).
  • D.E. Smith, S. Harrison, C.R. Firth, J.T. Jordan, The early Holocene sea level rise, Quaternary Science Reviews, Volume 30, Issues 15–16, July 2011, Pages 1846-1860.
  • W.B.F. Ryan, W.C. Pitman III, C.O. Major, K. Shimkus, V. Moskalenko, G.A. Jones, P. Dimitrov, N. Gorür, M. Sakinç, H. YüceAn abrupt drowning of the Black Sea shelf. Marine Geology, 138 (1997), pp. 119–126.Chris S.M. Turney and Heidi Brown, Catastrophic early Holocene sea level rise, human migration and the Neolithic transition in Europe. Quaternary Science Reviews. Volume 26, Issues 17–18, September 2007, Pages 2036–2041
  • Early State Formation in Southern Mesopotamia: Sea Levels, Shorelines, and Climate ChangeDouglas J. Kennett, James P. Kennett The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology Vol. 1, Iss. 1, 2006
  • Trade not tribute was at the heart of this ancient world – it was an international market around not only luxury goods, but also around the constituents of the technology that defined the era: bronze. Bronze making was a transformative technology. Not only could it make weapons that stayed sharp, it was amazingly versatile. It could be cast into a wide range of shapes and sizes. Bronze is made from 10 parts copper to one part tin. As a general rule, where you find copper you don’t find tin. Thus, the only way to have access to the key technology of that age was through trade.
  • Scientists can actually trace where the tin came from in these ancient bronze artifacts. Some tin came from what is now Turkey, Afghanistan, Spain, and even England.
  • In the ancient city of Kanesh, we have written records of a community of traders and merchants from Assur, a 19-day journey by mule (no horses yet). This community of traders brought in tin and textiles from Afghanistan and Egypt, and received silver and gold which they shipped back to Assur.
  • We know an enormous amount about these traders because we have found 1000s and 1000s of their written letters (most dealing with money matters). But not all of them. Some are from their women as well, and talk of concerns that sound pretty similar to our own. One of the best of these is written by a lady called Lamasie who writes to her husband “When you left you did not leave me any silver, not even one crooked shekle. And yet you write to me complaining about _my_ extravagance. We have no money to buy food and yet you think I am extravagant? I sent all my money to you and right now I am living in an empty house. Send me the money you make for the textiles which I made without delay. Since you left our neighbor has made a house that is twice as large as ours. When will we be able to do the same?”
  • Chadwick, Robert. First Civilizations : Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt.London, , GBR: Equinox Publishing Ltd, 2005. p 57.
  • Chadwick, Robert. First Civilizations : Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt.London, , GBR: Equinox Publishing Ltd, 2005. p 57.
  • On right, contemporary images from Uruk.Uruk developed into city around 3500 - 3200 BCE, population about 40,000 (about population or modern day Airdrie).
  • Cone mosaics, Uruk, c. 3000 B.C. In Pergamon Museum, Berlin, Photo by Randy Connolly
  • Detail Cone mosaics, Uruk, c. 3000 B.C. In Pergamon Museum, Berlin, Photo by Randy Connolly
  • Ziggurat at Ur: uncoveredby Sir Leonard Woolley in the 1930s,partially reconstructed under Saddam Hussein.
  • Damaged during the first Gulf War.
  • Sir Leonard Woolley and his team in the 1920s and 1930s excavated the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ur.
  • Woolley and his team examined more than 1800 burials from about 2500 BC. In the midst of excavations, Woolley noted, “We are doing marvelously well: I’m sick to death of getting out gold headdresses.”
  • PG1237, with its 74 attendants, was the most spectacular of Ur’s royal tombs. Woolley dubbed it “The Great Death Pit”. PG1237 included 6 men and 68 women. The men, near the tomb’s entrance, had weapons. Most of the women were in four rows across the northwest corner of the death pit; six under a canopy in its south corner; and, six near three lyres near the southeast wall. Almost all wore simple headdresses of gold, silver, and lapis; most had shells with cosmetic pigments. Body 61 in the west corner was more elaborately attired than the others. Half the women (but none of the men) had cups or jars, suggestive of banqueting. Body 61 held a silver tumbler close to her mouth. The neat arrangement of bodies convinced Woolley the attendants in the tombs had not been killed, but had gone willingly to their deaths, drinking some deadly or soporific drug. He suggested that in so doing they were assured a “less nebulous and miserable existence” than ordinary men and women.
  • Inside the Big Man’s burial chamber. Woolley: “The body of the dead ruler inside the sealed chamber, while outside the enclosure slowly filled with mourners, ladies in waiting, loyal soldiers and slaves, loudly bewailing their terrible loss. Then while a solemn music is playing, the tomb is shut from the outside and the mourners take poison. Lit from the flames of guttering oil lamps, they die one by one, presumably to be reborn and serve their master in the next world.”
  • According to him, PG789 was the grave of an unknown king, who left behind a loving wife and queen so devoted that she wished to lay near him in death. She, therefore, had her own tomb chamber placed alongside her husband’s, but being a queen, she needed her own “death pit” for her court attendants. With no other space presumably available, her death pit was laid over the top of her husband’s tomb chamber, PG789. The obvious irony did not escape Woolley’s attention: the builders of Puabi’s tomb were the looters who had robbed her husband’s chamber!
  • In Ur, the king was called the Le-gal, literally, the Big Man.
  • The Standard of Ur, ca. 2700 B.C.E. Double-sided panel inlaid with shell, lapis lazuli, and red limestone, approx. 8 x 19 in
  • Neil MacGregor, A History of the World in 100 Objects (Allen Lane, 2011)
  • AnthonyGidden
  • http://www.ashmolean.org/myashmolean/gallery-o.php
  • Chadwick, Robert. First Civilizations : Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt.London, , GBR: Equinox Publishing Ltd, 2005. p 57.
  • The oldest known dictionary is a series of 24 cuneiform tablets from the Akkadian empire with bilingual wordlists in Sumerian and Akkadian. The very first entry is a definition for the Sumerian word hubullu meaning interest-bearing debt.Tablets 4 and 5 list naval and terrestrial vehicles, respectively. Tablets 13 to 15 contain a systematic enumeration of animal names, tablet 16 lists stones and tablet 17 plants. Tablet 22 lists star names.
  • Babylon Gate
  • Assyrian war-making
  • Reconstruction of Nineveh
  • Assyrian ruins
  • Introduction to Western Humanities - 2 - Mesopotamia

    1. 1. Lecture 2MESOPOTAMIAINTRO TO WESTERN HUMANITIES
    2. 2. Civilization emerged independently in atleast four different locations centeredaround major river valleys.
    3. 3. In modern scholarship, Mesopotamia refersto the geographical area located in theregion of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers,roughly equivalent to present-day Iraq.
    4. 4. There never was a country or state calledMesopotamia.Rather it refers to a geographical area and thevarious people that lived there (Sumerians,Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians, etc).
    5. 5. Archeological evidence indicates thatagriculture and the elements ofcivilization (cities, monumentalarchitecture, writing) were combined forthe first time in the Mesopotamia areaaround 3500 – 3100 BCE. Villages, small agriculture First cities, large irrigation agriculture
    6. 6. How do we know these dates?
    7. 7. 1. Relative Dating 2. Scientific Dating
    8. 8. Geographical ContextThe southern region of Mesopotamia,particularly the land of Sumer, was a flatand treeless expanse of river-watered landideal for irrigation agriculture, surroundedby deserts.
    9. 9. Climate ChangeClimate and coastline in Mesopotamia areachanged considerably during the millennialeading up to the development of cities.
    10. 10. Why the climate change?
    11. 11. The sudden (about 8400 BCE), then slow,draining of cold Glacial Lake Agassiz,raised global sea levels relativelysuddenly and transformed globaltemperature patterns.
    12. 12. Turney, C.S.M. and Brown, H. (2007) "Catastrophic early Holocene sea levelrise, human migration and the Neolithic transition in Europe." QuaternaryScience Reviews, 26, 2036–2041.
    13. 13. The sea level raise also transformedthe fresh water Black Sea Lake intothe salt water Black Sea.Some scholars claim the flooding ofthis area prompted the spread ofwheat-based agriculture into theMesopotamian area.
    14. 14. Urbanization
    15. 15. In a good year Mesopotamian farmerscould produce abundant crops with plentyof food left over.However, the region lacked many of thenatural resources essential for continueddevelopment, and this paucity of naturalresources was one of the major factorsbehind the unique development of theMesopotamian cities.Because the inhabitants were forced totrade their agricultural surpluses formuch-needed natural resources, theybecame traders and merchants whoopened up and maintained trade routeswith their resource-rich neighbours as faraway as Egypt, India, and Afghanistan.
    16. 16. Perhaps the most important trade activityrevolved around the new high technologyof the day: bronze.
    17. 17. Bronze making was a transformativetechnology. Not only could it makeweapons that stayed sharp, it wasamazingly versatile. It could be cast into awide range of shapes and sizes.Bronze is made from 10 parts copper toone part tin.As a general rule, where you find copperyou don’t find tin. Thus, the only way tohave access to the key technology of thatage was through trade.
    18. 18. Scientists can actually trace where the tincame from in these ancient bronzeartifacts. Some tin came from what isnow Turkey, Afghanistan, Spain, and evenEngland.
    19. 19. In the ancient city of Kanesh, we have written records of a communityof traders and merchants from Assur, a 19-day journey by mule (nohorses yet). This community of traders brought in tin and textiles fromAfghanistan and Egypt, and received silver and gold which theyshipped back to Assur.
    20. 20. We know an enormous amount about these traders because we havefound 1000s and 1000s of their written letters (most dealing withmoney matters). But not all of them.Some are from their women as well, and talk of concerns that sound pretty similar to ourown. One of the best of these is written by a lady called Lamasie who writes to herhusband: “When you left you did not leave me any silver, not even one crooked shekle. And yet youwrite to me complaining about _my_ extravagance. We have no money to buy food andyet you think I am extravagant? I sent all my money to you and right now I am living in anempty house. Send me the money you make for the textiles which I made without delay. …Since you left our neighbor has made a house that is twice as large as ours. When will webe able to do the same?”
    21. 21. Sumerian City StatesThe city-state was the system of politicalorganization used in the southern part of theTigris– Euphrates river valley during much of thethird millennium BC .The city-state originated during the Uruk periodaround 3500 BC, and consisted of an urban centrewith as many as 50000 inhabitants, which servedas the administrative, economic, and cultural corefor the surrounding region.These city states are often referred to collectivelyas Sumer and their people as Sumerians.
    22. 22. UrukThis city-state is sometimes considered the firstMesopotamian city c. 3000 BCESoon after, other Sumerian city states developed,the most prominent were Ur and Kish.
    23. 23. Uruk (today)The Euphrates River has shifted over time and the land occupied byUruk is now very arid.
    24. 24. Cone Mosaic from Uruk
    25. 25. Marble head from Uruk
    26. 26. Ziggurat at Ur: uncovered by Sir Leonard Woolley in the 1930s,partially reconstructed in 1980s under Saddam Hussein.
    27. 27. Sir Leonard Woolley and his team in the 1920s and 1930s excavated theancient Mesopotamian city of Ur.
    28. 28. Woolley and his team examined more than 1800burials from about 2500 BC. In the midst ofexcavations, Woolley noted, “We are doingmarvelously well: I’m sick to death of getting out goldheaddresses.”
    29. 29. PG1237 was the mostspectacular of Ur’s royaltombs.Woolley dubbed it “The GreatDeath Pit” and it included 6men and 68 women.
    30. 30. Inside PG789, the Big Man’s burial chamber. Woolley: “The body of thedead ruler inside the sealed chamber, while outside the enclosure slowlyfilled with mourners, ladies in waiting, loyal soldiers and slaves, loudlybewailing their terrible loss. Then while a solemn music is playing, thetomb is shut from the outside and the mourners take poison. Lit from theflames of guttering oil lamps, they die one by one, presumably to bereborn and serve their master in the next world.”
    31. 31. According to Wooley, PG789 was the grave ofan unknown king, who left behind a lovingwife and queen so devoted that she wishedto lay near him in death.She, therefore, had her own tomb chamberplaced alongside her husband’s, but being aqueen, she needed her own “death pit” forher court attendants.With no other space presumably available,her death pit was laid over the top of herhusband’s tomb chamber, PG789.Yet when Wooley unearthed it, the King’sChamber, unlike the Queen’s, was empty ofgoods: the builders of the queen’s tomb hadlooted her husband’s chamber! Queen’s Tomb King’s Tomb
    32. 32. In Ur, the king was called the Lu-gal, literally, the Big Man.
    33. 33. What the Standard of Ur was used for remains a mystery but itseems to have royal connections. It was buried in a royal graveand depicts two contrasting scenes of a king of Ur. It is aboutthe size of a briefcase.
    34. 34. “One side shows what must be any ruler’s dream of how a taxsystem should operate. In the lower two registers, peoplecalmly line up to offer their tribute … and on the top register,the king and the elites … feast on the proceeds while somebodyplays the lyre.”
    35. 35. “From having a surplus, you get the emergence of classes,because some people can live off the labour of others, whichthey couldn’t do in small agricultural communities. Then youget the emergence of a priestly warrior class, or organizedwarfare, of tribute and something like a state – which is reallythe creation of a new form of power.”
    36. 36. Sumerian king list – specifies kings or queens and thelength of their reign from about 3000 to 1900 BCE. Oneof these is Gilgamesh around 2600 BCE.
    37. 37. Sumer decline and new empiresBy about 2000 BCE the Sumerian city states as acivilization was finished.Some have blamed environmental collapse as thecause of this decline.A variety of other peoples/cultures (Akkadians,Medians, Elamites, Babylonians, Assyrians,Persians) with different languages invaded/settledin the Mesopotamia area.These new people tended to adopt certainSumerian practices (such as cuneiform writing).
    38. 38. The oldest known dictionary/encylopedia is a series of 24cuneiform tablets from the Akkadian empire with bilingualwordlists in Sumerian and Akkadian.The very first entry is a definition for the Sumerian wordhubullu meaning interest-bearing debt, which says all youneed to know about the priorities of the ancientSumerians.Tablets 4 and 5 list naval and terrestrial vehicles, respectively.Tablets 13 to 15 contain a systematic enumeration of animal names,tablet 16 lists stones and tablet 17 plants. Tablet 22 lists starnames.
    39. 39. Babylonians
    40. 40. Ishtar Gate was the eighth inner gate in Babylon.Now in Pergamon Museum in Berlin
    41. 41. The gate was in fact a double gate. The part that is shown in thePergamon Museum today is only the smaller, frontal part, while thelarger, back part was considered too large to fit into the constraintsof the structure of the museum. It is in storage, which tells you allyou need to know about the philosophy of 19th century Europeanarcheology.
    42. 42. Assyrians
    43. 43. The Assyrians were from the land just tothe north of Mesopotamia, and havebecome a kind of by-word for ancientmilitarism.A wide range of impressive Assyrians palace carvings arein the British Museum in London and in the PergamonMuseum in Berlin.
    44. 44. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaptainkobold/224511183
    45. 45. http://www.flickr.com/photos/calotype46/6671917417
    46. 46. Assyrian King Ashur-nasir-pal:“I built a pillar over the city gate, and I flayedall the chiefs that revolted. And I covered itwith their skin. Some of them I enclosed alivewithin the pillar. Some I impaled upon thepillar on stakes. Others I bound to stakesaround the pillar and I cut the limbs off of theofficers. Many captives among them I burnedwith fire and many I took as living captives.From some I cut off their noses, others theirears, some their fingers. Of many I put outtheir eyes. I made one pillar of the living andanother pillar of heads. I bound other heads tothe trees around the city. Their children Iburned in the fires. Twenty men I brought tomy palace and enclosed alive within my palacewalls. The rest of their army I consumed withthirst in the desert.”
    47. 47. Assyrian King Ashurbanipal :“The tombs of their [the Elamites] old kings I destroyedand devastated. … For twenty miles I scattered salt andprickly plants over all their farms. The dust of theircities I gathered and took back to Assyria. The noise ofthe people, the tread of cattle and sheep, the gladshouts of rejoicing I banished it from their lands.”Assyrian King Sennacherib:“As a hurricane proceeds, I attacked Babylon, and like astorm I overthrew it. Its inhabitants young and old I didnot spare and with their corpses I filled its streets. Thecity itself, from its building foundations to its roofs Idevastated. By fire I overthrew. So the future would notremember it, I used water to wash away their temples. Iturned everything else into a salted pasture. I took itssoil and transported it to the mountains. Some of it Ikept in a covered jar in my palace.”
    48. 48. Reconstruction of Nineveh. These carvings wouldhave been painted and would have served a clearpropaganda purpose: obey us … or else suffer theconsequences!
    49. 49. Notice the desolation/emptiness of theland where these Bulls, which onceadorned the palace at Nineveh (theAssyrian capital).
    50. 50. Even today, there is not much left ofNineveh excepts its walls.
    51. 51. Fall of AssyriaAfter existing as a continuous kingdom/empire fromabout 2000 BCE, Assyria was destroyed in 612 at theheight of its power by a coalition of Persians,Babylonians, and Scythians (horse archers from north ofMesopotamia).Its cities were so utterly destroyed that 200 years later,the Greek writer Xenophon passed by the ruins of itscapital Nineveh with its huge walls (10 meters tall by 15meters thick with30 km perimeter) in astonishment.None of the people living near by had any knowledge ofthe city nor did they know anything of what hadhappened to it.
    52. 52. Modernreconstruction of asection of Nineveh’swalls
    53. 53. Nineveh’s30km of wallssuperimposedon Calgary
    54. 54. Shelly’s Poem OZYMANDIAS (1818)I met a traveller from an antique landWho said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stoneStand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frownAnd wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold commandTell that its sculptor well those passions readWhich yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.And on the pedestal these words appear:"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"Nothing beside remains. Round the decayOf that colossal wreck, boundless and bareThe lone and level sands stretch far away.
    55. 55. We tend to think that our civilization andour way of life will last forever and is thepinnacle of human achievement.Yet every civilization that we will look at in this coursealso thought that way as well.

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