River valley civilizations
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River Valley Civilizations. Chapter 2. I. The Fertile Crescent. Geography Dominated by desert Locates between the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea Most important are called Mesopotamia (“Land between the Rivers”) – located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

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River valley civilizations

River Valley Civilizations

Chapter 2


I the fertile crescent

I. The Fertile Crescent

  • Geography

    • Dominated by desert

    • Locates between the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea

    • Most important are called Mesopotamia (“Land between the Rivers”) – located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

    • Rivers flood once a year – between April and June

      • Leave rich soil called silt

      • Provides water for irrigation~


I the fertile crescent1

I. The Fertile Crescent

  • People Move In

    • First People start to settle around 7000 BC

      • They were farmers

        • Advantages of Mesopotamia

          • the rich soil

          • Flat land

          • Abundance of water

          • Warm temperatures

        • Disadvantages

          • Unpredictable flooding

          • Land dried quickly

          • Small land area

          • No natural protection

          • Few natural resources~


I the fertile crescent2

I. The Fertile Crescent

c. Solutions to disadvantages

1. irrigation system – used to bring water to crops and collect water to hold for watering

2. trade with the people that lived in the Mountain to the north for natural resources – trades cloth, grain, and crafted tools for stone, metal and wood

  • The Sumerians

    • Mysterious people - no one knows their origin (maybe from the Caspian Sea region)

    • Moved to Mesopotamia around 4000 BC

    • By 3800 BC their advanced irrigation technology allowed them to dominate the people already living in the area

    • They improved farming techniques, built better roads, and used boat technology~


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I. The Fertile Crescent

C. The Sumerians (cont.)

  • City-States

    • City-states created around 3000 BC

    • 4 biggest were Ur, Uruk, Kish, Lagash

    • Ur (at its height) contained about 30,000 people

    • All city-states built with a ziggurat (walled temple) at its center

    • Around the cities

      • Large farms for growing food

      • Hearding lands for animals

      • Large orchards~


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I. The Fertile Crescent

  • Government

    • When the city-states first started forming (3000 BC), priests (called A) controlled the government

      • controlled the military

      • administered trade

      • Ran the court system

    • During a time of war, a general took control of the government

    • Eventually the city-states will always be at war and the priests lost their power

    • Later city-states controlled by a monarch (king)~


I the fertile crescent5

I. The Fertile Crescent

  • Religion

    • Basic beliefs

      • Polytheistic

      • Important to the city-states

      • Contained hundreds of gods based in nature

      • Each city-state worshiped unique gods

      • All city-states worshipped four main gods

        • Nammu – Creator of all

        • An – male god of the heavens

        • Ki – female god of the earth

        • Enlil – son of the above, controlled night and day~


I the fertile crescent6

I. The Fertile Crescent

  • Religion (cont.)

    • Religious officials

      • Each city-state had priests

      • Duties

        • Mediator between the people and gods

        • Performed sacrifices and religious rituals

        • Controlled and maintained the irrigation systems

      • For their efforts priests received a portion of the crop grown each year as payment~


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I. The Fertile Crescent

  • Religion (cont.)

    • Doctrine

      • Importance of the gods

        • Crops grew in the wet months because the An and Ki mated (married)

        • During the dry months the crops died because An and Ki died

        • Blooming signified the resurrection of the gods

      • Over all belief – humanity was put on earth to serve the gods

      • When people died they returned to the heavens to serve the gods

      • Believed in sin – explained people’s hardships and blessings

      • Education was unimportant, because the gods would put knowledge in the people’s brains so they could overcome a hardship

      • Religion was harsh and unsupportive~


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I. The Fertile Crescent

  • Culture

    • 80% of the people were farmers

    • They had the concept of land ownership

    • After 2300 BC had established money

      • Polished pieces of metal

      • Value based on weight

      • Caused

        • Banks to be created – for borrowing money

        • People sought wealth – wanted to make money~


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I. The Fertile Crescent

  • Culture (cont.)

    • Had 5 social classes

      • Kings and Nobles – wealthy, literate, most powerful

      • Priests – wealthy, literate, powerful

      • Wealthy Merchants – wealthy, illiterate, little power

      • Framers – poor, illiterate, powerless

      • Slaves – poor, uneducated, powerless

    • Society

      • Male dominated

      • Women

        • Little protection under law

        • Main role domestication (child bearers, house work, ect.)

        • Harsh life for women~


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I. The Fertile Crescent

  • Education

    • Priests were educators

    • Education took place in the temples

    • Only upper class families were educated in the temples – had to pay

    • All other education was done in the home

  • Law

    • Created by the central government

    • Originally laws not written down

    • Victim had to bring the suspect to court

    • Presided over by the king

    • Hammurabi's Code – created 1792 BC

      • Babylonian king

      • First written law code

      • Eye for and Eye~


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I. The Fertile Crescent

  • Science and Technology

    • Invented the plow, sail, wheel, bronze technology, and the pyramid

    • First to use arches, columns, and ramps

    • Had a calendar – based on moon cycles

    • Writing

      • Started as pictures

      • Evolved into symbols

      • Cuneiform oldest writing system – developed in Sumar

      • Used to keep religious records, historical info, and trade records~


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I. The Fertile Crescent

  • Empires Appear

    • City-states will weaken because of constant warfare

    • Invaders will also cause problems

    • Sargon of Akkad 9city-state north of Sumar)

      • 2350 BC he has taken over most of the Mesopotamian city-states

      • Created the first empire

      • Control lasted 200 years (2150 BC) – fell due to famine, civil war and invasions

    • Babylonian Empire

      • Invade in 2000 BC – took over after the Akkadians

      • Peak of the empire is during King Hammurabi’s reign

      • By 1550 BC empire falls~


I the fertile crescent13

I. The Fertile Crescent

  • The Assyrian Empire

    • After the fall of the Babylonians, the Fertile Crescent will be open to many other invaders – the Assyrians, Phoenicians, and Hebrews

    • Military Might

      • 850 BC the Assyrians were the most dominate empire – controlled through SW Asia, the Middle East, and Egypt

      • Able to accomplish dominance by creating a highly advanced and organized military~


I the fertile crescent14

I. The Fertile Crescent

  • Beginnings

    • Came from the northern part of Mesopotamia

    • Their flat homeland made Assyria open to invaders

    • Forced to develop a strong military and warlike behavior to combat invaders

  • Military Organization

    • Weapons and Equipment

      • Used iron works to make weapons

      • Wore armor made of iron and stiff leather

      • Wore iron helmets and leather shirts fashioned with iron scales

      • Fought with iron swords and iron pointed spears~


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I. The Fertile Crescent

  • Tactics

    • They built bridges to cross bodies of water

    • Before attacking a city they dug out around the city walls to weaken them

    • Foot soldiers would then attack, marching shoulder to shoulder and shoot wave after wave of arrows

    • Battering rams would than knock down the city gates

    • Once inside the Assyrian Army would kill or enslave all inside~


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I. The Fertile Crescent

  • Empire Expansion

    • Between 850-650 BC they defeated Syria, Palestine, and Babylonia – also made their way into Egypt

    • Peak of power came around 650 BC

    • Rule

      • The central government controlled the lands closest to the Assyrian heartland

      • Outlying lands were controlled with puppet governments

      • System

        • Local governments – controlled by governors – reported back to the king – responsible for collecting taxes

        • Central government – controlled by the king – also contained the Assyrian nobles~


Mesopotamia

Mesopotamia


Hammurabi

Hammurabi


Chart

Chart


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