Mesopotamia: The Fertile Crescent. Chapter 3 Notes. Fertile Crescent. Fertile Crescent = moon-shaped strip of land from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf that is excellent farm land Located in modern-day Middle East. Mesopotamia.
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Mesopotamia:The Fertile Crescent Chapter 3 Notes
Fertile Crescent • Fertile Crescent = moon-shaped strip of land from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf that is excellent farm land • Located in modern-day Middle East
Mesopotamia • Mesopotamia = located within the Fertile Crescent, between the Tigris & Euphrates Rivers • Rivers were NOT a reliable source of water (unlike the Nile) • Ran dry in summer; flooded in spring • Villages joined together to build dams, canals, and ditches
The Sumerian Civilization • People from Asia arrived in Mesopotamia • Formed 12 city-states = the city and the land surrounding it • Considered the world’s 1st cities • Created ziggurats = stepped pyramids with a temple at the top
The Sumerian Civilization • Sumerians shared common culture, language, and religion • City-states governed themselves • Were theocracies = kings served as both government leaders AND high priests • Laws regulated the roles of women & men men had far more rights
The Sumerian Civilization • Cuneiform = Sumerian system of writing • The symbols represented complex ideas
The Sumerian Civilization • Scribes were trained to read & write documents and stories • Epic of Gilgamesh = oldest story in the world
The Sumerian Civilization • Practiced polytheism = belief in more than one god • Each city-state had its own god • Negative outlook on life and the afterlife • Believed gods were selfish and had no regard for humans
Sumerian Inventions • Wagon Wheel • Arch • Potter’s Wheel • Sundial • 12-month Calendar • Metal Plow
First Mesopotamian EmpiresThe Akkadians • Empire under Sargon I • Kingdom was called Akkad • Conquered & united all of the Sumerian city-states • Empire fell apart after his & his grandson’s death
First Mesopotamian EmpiresBabylon • Ruled by Hammurabi • Strict Code of Laws = Hammurabi’s greatest achievement • Rules and consequences that addressed daily life • Law code covered entire region of Mesopotamia • “Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” type of laws • Government assumed the responsibility of protecting its citizens • People now had laws to protect their rights & didn’t need to resort to violence
First Mesopotamian EmpiresBabylon • Social classes were similar to the Egyptians, but they had far more slaves • Hammurabi’s empire fell apart after his death