Ancient Civilizations:. Ancient Civilizations: Mesopotamia. Geography & Environment. “the land between the rivers…”. The Geography. On which continent was Mesopotamia located?
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Geography & Environment “the land between the rivers…”
The Geography • On which continent was Mesopotamia located? • Asia; in what is modern day Iraq, Syria & Turkey
The Geography • On which river did the ancient Mesopotamians settle? • Between the Tigris & Euphrates Rivers; in an area known as the Fertile Crescent
Mesopotamian Cultures • Mesopotamia did NOT represent a unified kingdom, instead it was made up of a series of kingdoms that occupied a specific geographical space
Mesopotamian Cultures • Sumer • Akkad • Babylonia • Assyria • Neo-Babylonia • Persia
3500 – 2300 BCE Sumer The first civilization
Sumerian Geography • Geography: • Located at the southern end of Mesopotamia • Near the mouths of the Tigris & Euphrates
Sumerian Geography • City-state: • A city + its surrounding lands • Independent political units that competed for trade & boundaries • i.e. Uruk, Kish, Ur, Lagash
Sumerian Geography • Characteristics: • Shared culture • Unique government • Outer walls • A central temple/ziggurat
Sumerian Religion & Government • Polytheism: • The worship of more than one god • Believed gods were immortal & all powerful; humans were to serve the gods
Sumerian Religion & Government • Ziggurat: • Temples where sacrifices and offerings were made to the gods • Animals, food, wine, etc.
Sumerian Religion & Government • City-states were ruled by priest- kings who were viewed as powerful agents of the gods
Sumerian Culture & Knowledge • Despite their religious practices, Sumerians had little, if any, belief in an afterlife • Believed that the souls of the dead went to the “land of no return”
Sumerian Culture & Knowledge • Developed a form of writing language known as cuneiform
Sumerian Culture & Knowledge • Invention of the wheel (3000 BC) • Economy based on farming & trade • CULTURAL DIFFUSION
Sumerian Culture & Knowledge • Other notable contributions: • Invention of the sail & plow • The usage of bronze • Development of a number system
Babylonia 1790 – 1590 BCE The first system of justice
The Babylonian Empire • In 1792 BC a new empire took control of Mesopotamia • Babylonia • Reached its height during the reign of Hammurabi
The Babylonian Empire • Hammurabi’s Code: • Written code of laws • Stressed responsible behavior • Capital punishment
The Babylonian Empire • “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” • Punishments based on SOCIAL CLASS • Laws focused on ALL aspects of society