GEOGRAPHY OF MESOPOTAMIA Social Studies for 8th E.G.B. Teacher: Mauricio Torres
WATER IS LIFE• With bands of hunter-gatherers settling down all around the world, into farming settlements, they began to domesticate animals and plants.• Civilizations needed water to support their growing numbers. • They learned how to control floods. • These were the River Valley Civilizations.
THE LAND BETWEEN RIVERS• The Tigris and Euphrates rivers are the most important physical features of the region known as Mesopotamia. • Its Greek for: “in between rivers”
GEOGRAPHY• It lies between Asia Minor and the Persian Gulf.• The region is part of an area known as the Fertile Crescent (a large arc of rich, fertile farmland).• Mesopotamia is made of two parts: • A plateau in the North. • A flat plain in the South. Vocabulary Plateau: An area of flat, high land. Plain: is a land with with relatively low relief.
RISE OF CIVILIZATION • 12,000 years ago, hunter-gatherers first settled in the area. • Every year, the flood of the rivers made the land ideal for farming, because the soil was rich in nutrients. • By 7,000 BC they began producing: • Farming: Wheat, barley and other types of grain. • Growing: Livestock, fish and birds.
FARMING & CITIES• The first thing farmers needed, was to control water. • If it rained too much were the rivers began, floods would destroy crops, kill livestock and wash away everything. • It it didn’t, then crops dried up.• Controlling Water • They developed irrigation. • They dug canals. Vocabulary Irrigation: a way of supplying water to an area of land. Plain: human-made waterways.
FOOD SURPLUSES• With these new developments, along with the use of Iron Tools, farmers now produced more than what they actually needed, and this is called surplus.• Along with surplus, trade was the next step. This allowed for people in the area to feed on a wide variety of foods.• People now had more time for themselves, so new jobs were created and also something called division of labor.
BIGGER GOALS • When people where available to work on different jobs, this meant that society could accomplish more. • This was done because: • Large projects needed more specialized workers. • They needed to be organized (structure and rules). • To complete those goals, government and laws were needed.
CITIES ON THE HORIZON• Settlements in Mesopotamia grew in size and complexity.• Between 4000 and 3000 BC they developed into cities.• Even though cities emerged, their main activity was still agricultural based.• But in cities everything was done in a much larger scale: • Trading • Building • Culture
ASK YOURSELF(FOR FURTHER READING USE YOUR BOOKS, CHAPTER 3, SECTION 1)• Identify: • What does Mesopotamia mean? • What were the two rivers where it developed?• Explain: • What is the Fertile Crescent? • How did irrigation help farmers?• Summarize: • When, how and why were settlements established in Mesopotamia?• Analyze: • What effects did irrigation have on farming?
ASSIGNMENT!• Type a paragraph describing your life in Mesopotamia as a farmer, and bring it for next class. • It hasn’t rained in a very long time, but you know the rainy season is coming. • What will you have to do in order to use the floods to your advantage? • Draw an image, beneath the paragraph, showing your home.
BIBLIOGRAPHY• Burstein, S. M., & Shek, R. (2012). World History (Teacher´s Edition) (1st Edition ed.). (H. McDougal, Ed.) Orlando, Florida, US.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.• Images taken from Google.com