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The Fertile Crescent/Mesopotamia. Location, Location, Location!. *Don’t write!!!!!!!!!!! * FC Today: Iraq, Syria, Jordan Lebanon, Israel,Turkey & Iran *FC is horseshoe/crescent shaped area of good farmland along Tigris & Euphrates rivers that stretches from W Mediterranean to Persian Gulf.

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The Fertile Crescent/Mesopotamia

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The fertile crescent mesopotamia

The Fertile Crescent/Mesopotamia

Location location location

Location, Location, Location!

*Don’t write!!!!!!!!!!!

* FC Today: Iraq, Syria, Jordan Lebanon, Israel,Turkey & Iran

*FC is horseshoe/crescent shaped area of good farmland along Tigris & Euphrates rivers that stretches from W Mediterranean to

Persian Gulf

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

Fertile Crescent



  • Don’t write!

  • Tigris & Euphrates flow from E. Turkey

    to Persian Gulf.

  • Area known

    as Mesopotamia

    (land btw rivers)

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • Floods at least once a year, leaving thick silt (mud). Very fertile

  • Flooding unpredictable

  • Desert region

  • No barriers

    for protection



The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • Don’t write: Settle 3300 BC

  • Good soil, few resources, no protection & flooding


  • Dug irrigation ditches

  • Built city walls w/ mud bricks

    *trade tools for raw


The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • By 3000 BC built city-states -independent cities w/ own govts & rulers,

    & separate


  • Share culture

  • Ex: Kish,


    Ur, Uruk

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

*All CS’s had ziggurat (temple) in middle

*Govt controlled by zig priests

  • Farmers need blessings of gods for crops & priests were go betweens

  • During war, led by commanders (eventually became

    full time leader)

  • Creates a Dynasty- single family rule

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • Don’t write!!!

  • Built in receding tiers upon a rectangular, oval, or square platform, the ziggurat was a pyramidal structure with a flat top. Sun-baked bricks made up the core of the ziggurat with facings of fired bricks on the outside. The facings were often glazed in different colors!

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • C/S’s grew wealthy from surplus food & start trading

  • Cities spread & so does


    diffusion- (new


    spreads from

    one culture to




*Polytheistic- many gods

  • Gods all powerful

    & immortal w/

    humans as slaves,



    (build ziggarats, offer sacrifice

    of animals,wine)

  • Enlil- god of storms/air,

    controls cosmos & man

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

Social class structure!

Kings, priests, landowners

Wealthy merchants

Field workers

Slaves (sold as kids or pows)

****Women had rights! Could own property, be merchants, etc!!!***

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

Arches, columns, ramps, pyramid shape design

Dev number system base 60 (time, 360)

Inventions & ideas develop from needs!!

Invented wheel, plow, sail and use bronze


The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • At war from 3000-2000 bc.

  • Never recover, but don’t die out.

  • Succeeding rulers use Sumerian culture



Akkadians sargon

Akkadians & Sargon

  • 2350 BC: SARGON of AKKAD (city-state in N) conquers city-states of Sumer

  • Controls Meso & creates first EMPIRE (brings together people, nations, independent states under 1 ruler) (From Med coast to Iran)

  • Fell apart due to invasions, fighting after 200 years

The fertile crescent mesopotamia



The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • 2000 BC nomad Ammorites invade & est Babylon

  • 1792-1750 BC- Hammurabi of Babylon creates uniform code of laws, carved in stone, posted all over

To bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil doers, so that the strong should not harm the weak

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • 282 specific laws listed under headings: trade, business, marriage, family

  • Severe punishments apply to all (but


    for rich &

    poor, men &




  • 2000 BC Hittites appear from Anatolia (high, rocky platuea w/ minerals, timber in Turkey)

  • Indo-European speakers. Separate city states create empire (Hattusas capital)

  • Invade T/E around 1600 BC

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • Tactics:

  • 1st to work iron into weapons (had charcoal & iron ore)

  • 2 wheeled chariots, wood frame, leather

    covered, 2-4 horses

  • Stalemate w/




  • Don’t’ write! 1100 BC- Lebanon today!

  • Merchants, traders & seafarers whobuilt CS’s that competed w/ each other (Byblos, Tyre, Sidon) all over Med (sail as far as GB & around Africa)

  • Trade goods (wine, weapons, metals), superb craftsmen (red/purple dye, wood, ivory)

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • Create alphabet: phonetic w/ one pic for one sound

  • Introduced to trade partners



  • Mostly in Anatolia (Tur)

  • 1st to coin money of gold & silver btw 700 BC to 550 BC. Traders (coins stamped w/ king’s symbol of lion head & sunburst)

  • Destroyed by




  • 300 miles N Mesopotamia

  • Aggressive, cruel, constant warfare

    to expand

    *Defeat Syria,

    Palestine, Egypt

    Babylonia, Sumer

    btw 1000 & 650 BC

Military tactics

Military Tactics

  • Iron helmets/leather skirts w/ scales, iron swords & iron tipped spears, shields

  • span rivers w/

    pontoons, floating


  • Dig under walls

    to weaken them


The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • March shoulder to shoulder, shoot arrows, climb ladders.

  • Impale/ behead

    those not killed

    in battle,

    *women, kids


    sold into slavery

Ruling power

Ruling Power

  • Officials govern land closest to Assyria as provinces, made dependent & chose their rulers (governors report to central authority)

  • Pay taxes & tribute, destroyed if don’t

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • Don’t Write! Ninevah:

  • Walled city 3 miles

    wide, 1 mi long

  • Carvings of military campaigns

  • King Ashurbanipal created library w/ 20,000 tablets from FC

  • (organized by room,

    subject matter)

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • destroyed by Chaldeans

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • 612 BC-538 BC Chaldeans (aka Neo-Babylonians) invade Assyria destroy Nineveh

  • Made Babylon capital (1000 yrs after Hammurabi) & restore city

  • Nebuchadnezzar built Hanging Gardens of Babylon

  • study astronomy (chart star positions) from ziggurat

  • Destroyed by Persians

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

Built garden to please his wife Amytis of Media, who longed for the trees and fragrant plants of her homeland.[1] Gardens destroyed by earthquakes. 100 feet ( long by 100 ft wide & built in tiers so that it resembled a theatre. Vaults constructed under the terraces carried weight of the planted garden; Highest part garden, (75 feet) was on the same level as the city walls. Roofs of vaults supported the garden made of stone beams 16 ft long,. Laid over these were a layer of reeds set in thick tar, then two courses of baked brick bonded by cement, & finally a covering of lead to prevent the moisture in the soil penetrating the roof.. The earth was levelled off & t planted w/ every kind of tree. Galleries were sunlit, & contained conduits for the water which was raised by pumps from the river, though no one outside could see it being done



*Today: Iran (Caspian Sea to Persian Gulf)



w/ many


(gold, silver,

copper, lead

lapis lazuli)

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • 550 BC Cyrus the Great conquers from Indus to Anatolia

  • Kind, tolerant, honors local customs traditions, religions,

  • Allowed Jews to return to Israel

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • Don’t Write! 530 BC Son Cyrus’ Cambyses conquers Egypt & is cruel,dies. Brother Smerdis (fake, tries to take over) Darius knows he is a fake

  • Darius, (522 BC) noble in king’s body guard, seized throne w/ help of elite soldiers & puts down


  • Conquest!! Conquers

    & controls 2500 miles (Afghanistan into India)

The fertile crescent mesopotamia


The fertile crescent mesopotamia

*Persia div into 20 provinces, using homelands, keep their religion, languages & laws

  • Use satrap - gov to rule locally, plus a mili leader & tax collector & use spies

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

Royal Road 1677 miles (messenger relays)

METAL coins



  • Religion started by Zoroaster (600 BC. Prophet)

  • Earth is battleground btw spirit of good (light) & evil (darkness)

  • Each person part of struggle

  • Ahura Mazda judges everyone at end of time on how well you fought

Hebrews israel and judaism

Hebrews, Israel and Judaism

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • Palestine east

    end of Med Sea

  • Hebrews lived

    in Canaan (btw

    Jordan R &

    Med Sea)

  • Crossroads-

    seaports on Red

    & Med Seas

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • Torah tells story of Hebrews

    (1st 5 books of Heb/Christian bible

    *1800 BC Abraham chosen by God to lead/be the “father” of Hebrews, wanders for

    for years.

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

*Don’t write!!

*believe in 1 god Yaweh, (Monotheism)

*had power over all people

*God looked after Hebrews & get homeland (Canaan) if they obeyed (covenant: mutual


The fertile crescent mesopotamia

Don’t write! Grandson Jacob (aka Israel) had 12 sons, each was leader of 12 tribes of Israel. 1600 BC Joseph led them to Egypt, enslaved

  • 1230 BC? Moses led them out of Egypt, (the Exodus) wandered for 40 years.

  • Given 10 commandments

    (social &

    religious behavior,

    new covenant)

  • Return to

    promised land

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

Don’t Write!!

God’s mercy

Live justly with one another

Moral life in god’s laws

Worship 1 god

no one above law 62 old

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • Hebrews return to Canaan 1020-922 Israel unites under 3 kings

  • 1025 BC: Saul drives out Philistines (1st king of Israelites)

The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • King David- unite tribes, est Jerusalem

  • King Solomon- built trade empire on Med & big Temple in Jerusalem for the Ark of the Covenant

  • (holds 10


The fertile crescent mesopotamia

  • Solomon's

    projects raised

    taxes, strain all

  • Jews in N

    revolt after

    Solomon dies &

    divides in half:

    Judah in S &

    Israel in N

Judah israel fall don t write

Judah & Israel Fall (DON”T WRITE)

  • 783 BC: tribute to Assyria

  • 722 BC: Israel falls

  • 586 BC: Neb destroys Judah & Jerusalem.

  • Jews exiled

    to Babylon



The fertile crescent mesopotamia

539 BC: Cyrus the Great (Persia) conquers Babylon & allows Jews to return


rebuilt 445 BC,

but later


by Greeks,

then Romans

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