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Mesopotamia. Sumerians organized city-states – a form of political organization typical of Mesopotamia civilizations; consisted of a city, and the surrounding agricultural areas that was ruled by an urban-based king. P.

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Mesopotamia


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    1. Mesopotamia

    2. Sumerians organized city-states – a form of political organization typical of Mesopotamia civilizations; consisted of a city, and the surrounding agricultural areas that was ruled by an urban-based king P

    3. Black stone with 232 case laws written in cuneiform The code covers mainly 4 fields: economic provisions, family, crime and civil matters. Code of Hammurabi Hammurabi’s Code – Babylonian king that introduced the code of laws which helped unify the empire. Established rules of procedure for courts of law and regulated property rights and the duties of family members, setting harsh punishment for crimes. The set of laws applied to everyone but not equally; famous phrases include “eye for an eye” and “tooth for a tooth.” P

    4. King claimed divine authority and the government regulated religion as a form of theocracy P

    5. Participated in transregional trade by interacting with Egypt and the Indus River Valley E

    6. Ziggurats – Massive towers or pyramids usually associated with temples where priests conducted rituals ; monumental architecture of the civilization R

    7. Polytheistic; saw gods in many aspects of nature Belief in a gloomy afterlife of punishment (their version of hell) R

    8. Although most religions from the foundation era were polytheistic, the Hebrew faith from Southwest Asia stands out as unique for monotheism. Monotheism was first introduced about 2000 BCE by Israelites, but monotheism did not grow substantially till much later. The association of monotheism with Judaism was further developed with the codification of the Hebrew Scriptures, which also reflected the influence of Mesopotamian culture and legal traditions. The Assyrian, Babylonian, and later the Roman empires conquered various Jewish states at different points in time. These conquests contributed to the growth of Jewish diasporic communities around the Mediterranean and Middle East. R

    9. King, noble class, priesthood all controlled landIndependent business class for tradeSlaves worked the land, could eventually earn money to buy their freedomBoth social and political systems tended to be patriarchal with men holding power in government, religions and family. S

    10. Region hard to defend – Sumerians fell to the Akkadians, who later fell to the Babylonians (who extended the empire). Eventually invasions by Assyrians and Persians created large empires. Early regions of state expansion or empire building were in Mesopotamia, including Babylonia. I

    11. As states grew and competed for land and resources, groups such as the Hittites, who had access to iron, had greater access to resources, produced more surplus food, and experience growing populations. These states were able to undertake territorial expansion and conquer surrounding areas. I

    12. Trained army; warfare vital to ensure supplies of slaves taken as prisoners S

    13. Chariots – developed in Mesopotamia and later improved on and favored by the Hittites, transformed warfare and modes of transportation A

    14. Invented wheel for transportation, which helped improve agricultural production as well as trade A

    15. Cuneiform Cuneiform – writing developed by the Sumerians using wedge-shaped stylus (like a ballpoint pen) and clay tablets. A

    16. Statues and painted frescoes decorated temples of the gods, supported by elites who promoted arts and artisanship A

    17. Plow Ancient plow “Modern” Plow Technology imported from Mesopotamia was used in Egypt. The plow helped improve agricultural production and trade. A

    18. Sails of the “gulf boats” Around the 3,000s B.C., the Sumerians first started using the wind to navigate boats used for trade. The sail was used in the Persian Gulf (the winds of the Tigris-Euphrates prevented sailing up the rivers). They traveled in order to trade for new items to give as presents to the gods. A

    19. The Epic of Gilgamesh was an epic poem that was one of the first examples of literature and it helped explain the world’s creation and the meaning of life. This work addressed questions about life and death and explore human relationships. A

    20. Located in modern-day Iraq, Mesopotamia was located in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers (the land between the rivers) and became home to many empires. Mesopotamia is a portion of the fertile crescent, an area between the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea in southwest Asia. N

    21. Irrigation “Scars” in Modern-Day Iraq Farming, because of irrigation, required considerable coordination among communities. Canals and irrigation ditches were built for redirecting the water to the fields used for farming.

    22. Region was more vulnerable to invasions due to a geographical lack of natural barriersMajor cities included Ur, Babylon, and Nineveh; in fact, the first cities were started in Mesopotamia with buildings made of both stone and sun-dried bricks. N