Ancient Mesopotamia. Chapter 3. Geography of Mesopotamia Chapter 3 Lesson 1. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers are in southwest Asia. Starting in present day Turkey and Kurdistan, flowing through Iraq and into the Persian Gulf. The land is flat , with small scrubby plants.
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The Tigris and Euphrates rivers are in southwest Asia.
Starting in present day Turkey and Kurdistan, flowing through Iraq and into the Persian Gulf.
The land is flat, with small scrubby plants.
Rain and melting snow in the mountains cause the rivers to swell.
As the water flows down the mountain it picks up soil.
When the river reaches the plains, water overflowed onto the floodplain.
Floodplain-the flat land bordering the banks.
The fine soil deposits by rivers is called silt.
Usually less than 10 inches of rain fell annually.
The summers were hot.
Although it was dry, crops were still grown due to the rivers and the fertile soil.
By 4000 B.C. farming villages spread across the land.
Floods could occur as early as April or as late as June.
Drought-a period when not enough rain and snow fall.
Drought is a constant danger in a semiarid region.
As a result, irrigation was vital to survival.
Problems from flooding:
- silt clogging canals
- dams unable to hold back
excess flood water
Mesopotamians lacked resources, what do you think they may have done?
They did not build with wood or stone, Mesopotamians used mud for bricks and plaster.
However, mud buildings crumbled easily and often needed repair.
There were no natural barriers such as mountains, so attack was always a worry.
Consequently, Mesopotamians built mud walls around their villages.
Mesopotamians obtained stone, wood, and metal from outside their own land.
They traded for these items because they had a surplus of grain.
Surplus-more than what is needed.
The Sumerians believed in many gods and goddesses.
- A belief in many gods and goddesses is called polytheism.
Sumerians believed that four main gods created the world and ruled over it.
- The gods of the sky, wind, foothills, and fresh water.
Sumerians believed their gods looked and acted like people.
Social Classes: The king and priest were at the top of the upper classes, the upper classes also included landowners, government officials, and rich merchants.
The in-between class consisted of all free people.
The lower class consisted of the slaves.