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Ancient Mesopotamia. Geography. Land Between 2 Rivers. Tigris and Euphrates rivers are in SW Asia= Middle East S tart in mts. of Turkey SE through Iraq to Persian Gulf Region is called Mesopotamia, “land between the rivers” P rovided water and a way to travel. Fertile Soil.

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land between 2 rivers
Land Between 2 Rivers
  • Tigris and Euphrates rivers are in SW Asia= Middle East
    • Start in mts. of Turkey
    • SE through Iraq to Persian Gulf
  • Region is called Mesopotamia, “land between the rivers”
    • Provided water and a way to travel
fertile soil
Fertile Soil
  • Rain and melting snow swelled rivers
    • Overflowing onto floodplain
    • Depositing fine soil= land fertile
      • Good for crops
  • Semi Arid climate—hot summers, less than 10” of annual rainfall
  • Crops grew b/c of fertile soil= rivers
  • Farming villages in S Mesopotamia by 4000 B.C.
floods and droughts
Floods and Droughts
  • Annual floods= unpredictable
    • Sometime between April and June
    • Didn’t know when to plant or how big flood would be
  • Droughts= lowered river levels
    • Hard to water crops; ppl starved if crops failed
  • 6000 B.C., irrigation canals carried water from rivers to fields
  • Built dams to block floodwaters
finding resources
Finding Resources
  • Mud Houses and Walls
    • Lacked building materials
  • Few natural barriers= easy to invade
    • Other ppl often stole from or conquered Mesopotamians
    • Built mud walls for protection
finding resources1
Finding Resources
  • Traded their surplus grain for stone, wood, metal
  • Digging canals, building walls, trading were done continuously
    • Leaders organized groups for work
quick review
Quick Review
  • What made Mesopotamia a good region for farming?
  • How did Mesopotamians water their crops during droughts?
  • Why was trade important in Mesopotamia?
activity map of mesopotamia
Activity: Map of Mesopotamia
  • Use the labeled map to label the blank map
  • Label: continents, mts, rivers, seas, city-states, etc…
  • Color in oceans and land and shade in the region of Mesopotamia
ancient mesopotamia1

Ancient Mesopotamia

The First Civilization

culture grows more complex
Culture Grows More Complex
  • Rise of agriculture= villages
  • Villages= city-states
    • Society and culture grew more complex= Civilization
  • 3000 B.C., 1st began in Sumer
    • S Mesopotamia
traits of civilization
Traits of Civilization
  • Advanced Cities
    • Store surplus, trade, many jobs, large temples
  • Specialized Workers—jobs requiring special skills
    • Improve quality of work
  • Ppl must cooperate and organize their society
    • Priests
traits of civilizations
Traits of Civilizations
  • Complex Institutions—religion, gov’t, schools, armies
    • Purpose= help society
  • Record Keeping—societies must keep records
    • World’s first system of writing= Cuneiform
traits of civilizations1
Traits of Civilizations
  • Advanced Technology
    • Canals
    • New tools= bronze
      • Mixture of copper and tin
sumerian city states
Sumerian City States
  • Cities= centers of society, country= ppl lived
    • Cities ruled surrounding lands/villages
  • City-state—self-ruled community
    • Sumer=12 city-states
sumerian city states1
Sumerian City States
  • Slow-growing Sumerian cities had narrow, winding streets
    • Gates let ppl in and out
sumerian city states2
Sumerian City States
  • Most important building= temple
    • Ziggurats
  • Ziggurat was center of city life
    • Controlled stored surplus
  • Priests ended up controlling= Theocracy
social classes
Social Classes
  • Unequal= define who has power
  • King/priests were at top
    • Upper class included landowners, gov’t officials, merchants
  • Most were the in-between class= farmers, artisans
  • Slaves made up lowest class
sumerian religion
Sumerian Religion
  • Polytheism—belief in many gods
    • Created and ruled world
  • Each city-state worshiped own god
    • 1000s of lesser gods
    • Looked and acted like ppl
sumerian religion1
Sumerian Religion
  • Protected against flood, drought, invasion
  • Priests= please gods to protect cities
    • Ppl accepted priest as cities leaders
sumerian religion2
Sumerian Religion
  • Gods= landowners who created humans to work for them
    • Ppl prayed, made offerings, participated in rituals
  • Believed souls of dead—gloomy underworld
    • Hard life made them expect an unhappy afterlife
new leaders
New Leaders
  • City-states were attacked
  • Ppl asked powerful men for protection= Kings
    • Ran city-states full-time
  • 2375 B.C., Ruled by a single king= Monarchy
    • Priests still tried to please gods
quick review1
Quick Review
  • Why was Sumer a good example of civilization?
  • What was life like in Sumerian cities?
  • How did kings take over as rulers of Sumer?
activity create your civilization
Activity: Create Your Civilization
  • Groups of 4, Write up your own civilization
  • Required
    • Location: Where? Size? Geographic features? Climate?
    • Population
    • Development of liberties: freedoms of speech, press, religion, voting rights, etc
    • Development of government to: monarchy, oligarchy, theocracy, republic, etc
    • Religion: monotheistic or polytheistic, give details
    • Tools
    • Social roles and jobs
  • Bonus
    • Write a myth from your civilization
    • Develop the alphabet or other writing system of your civilization
activity create your civilization1
Activity: Create Your Civilization
  • Create a visual displaying characteristics of your civilization on poster board
  • Each requirement= 5 points
  • Bonus= 5 extra points



Assignment: Create Your Civ.



Present day Southwestern Pennsylvania, Valley of the Penguin Mountains to the Steeler Gulf, covers an area the size of Rhode Island, etc..



building the first empires
Building the First Empires
  • Sumerian city-state kings fought from 3000 to 2000 B.C.
  • Sargon of Akkad created the world’s 1st empire
    • N & S Mesopotamia around 2350 B.C.
    • empire—many different peoples, lands controlled by one ruler
building the first empires1
Building the First Empires
  • Sargonʼs empire= AkkadianEmpire
    • Fertile Crescent
  • Conquests spread Akkadian ideas, culture, writing system
building the first empires2
Building the First Empires
  • Empires encourage trade and may bring peace to their ppls
    • ppl of diff. cultures share ideas, technology, customs
babylonian empire
Babylonian Empire
  • AkkadianEmpire lasted 200 yrs
  • 2000 B.C., Amorites invaded Sumer
    • Babylon= capital
babylonian empire1
Babylonian Empire
  • Trade was critical
    • Natural resources= scarce
    • Agricultural goods=surplus
  • Trading system developed= manufactured goods and raw materials
    • Vital to the economy and the culture
quick review2
Quick Review
  • Who created the world’s first empire? What was it called?
  • What do empires contribute to society?
  • Why was trade so important in the Babylonian Empire?
  • Use the resource map to answer the following
  • Which materials had to be imported in sea-worthy boats?
  • Which materials could be imported using riverboats?
  • Which materials had to be brought overland?
  • Which materials came from the greatest distances?
  • Which materials would be relatively easy to transport? Relatively difficult?