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Unit 2 – Ancient Civilization. Review from Unit 1 – What is the Fertile Crescent? Mesopotamia – Greek for what? Why was this land ideal for farming? Why was this land often not ideal for farming? How were people able to control their water resources?. Sumer.

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Unit 2 ancient civilization
Unit 2 – Ancient Civilization

  • Review from Unit 1 – What is the Fertile Crescent?

  • Mesopotamia – Greek for what?

  • Why was this land ideal for farming?

  • Why was this land often not ideal for farming?

  • How were people able to control their water resources?


  • As cities grew, city-states were formed, creating local governments

  • What kind of religion was now being practiced? People worked very hard to please the Gods

  • Warriors and war

    chiefs began to rule,

    creating dynasties.

Sumerian culture
Sumerian Culture

  • What was it and how were Sumerians using cuneiform? Could everyone write?

  • Has anyone read the Epic of Gilgamesh?

  • We use Sumerian concepts even TODAY!

  • 60, the wheel, the plow, basic surgery

  • The people of Sumer used trade as their primary resource for raw materials

The empires
The Empires

  • Akkadia

  • The worlds’ first empire

  • Where was it? And who ruled?

  • Adopted many Sumerian practices

  • What was the fate of Akkadia?

  • Babylonia – Hammurabi

  • Where? When? Who ruled?

  • Many Sumerian rituals and beliefs were honored in Babylon

  • What was the fate of the Babylonia Empire?

Code of hammurabi project
Code of Hammurabi Project

  • A devastating world-wide disaster has occurred, wiping out all of mankind...

  • We will create a NEW Code of Hammurabi

  • Groups of three or four

  • Choose ONE code from your selection and explain why it will be part of our New Code

  • Short presentation tomorrow

  • Please work quietly until the end of class

Mesopotamian empires
Mesopotamian Empires

  • What happened to Babylon?

  • The Hittites

  • Indo-European war tribe

  • 3,000 years ago in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey)

  • Military and cultural advances...

    - When did this empire fall???

Mesopotamian empires cont
Mesopotamian Empires cont...

  • The Assyrians

  • What was life like before they were a dynasty?

  • Around 900 BC they took over all of Mesopotamia, Asia Minor and parts of Egypt

  • “The War Machine” relied on what to dominate the region? What/when/why was their downfall?

    - The Assyrians were ruthless and brutal, however were responsible for many cultural advances...

Mesopotamian empires cont1
Mesopotamian Empires cont...

  • The Chaldeans

  • Babylon became their new capitol

  • Nebuchdnezzar II was their most famous Warrior King

  • What areas did they capture and make their own?

  • How long did this empire last?

Mesopotamian empires cont2
Mesopotamian Empires cont...

  • The Phoenicians

  • Western Asia: Sidon and Tyre (present day Lebanon)

  • Trade was THEIR THING

  • Were excellent sailors, dominating trade in the Mediterranean

  • Started settlements along their trade routes

    > Carthage

  • Lumber, dye, glass, ivory, silver and slaves

  • The Phoenician Alphabet

    > 22 letters (no vowels)

    > The modern day alphabet is an adaptation of the modified Greek alphabet

The hebrews
The Hebrews

  • Ancestors of the Jews, 2000-1500 BC

  • Judaism, Hebrew religion

  • Early history can be found in the Torah AKA the Old Testament of the Bible

  • Abraham, was given a covenant by God, in return for him leading his people to a Promised Land (AKA Canaan)

  • Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, began what was known to be the Israelites

  • Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were patriarchs

  • After leaving Canaan for Egypt, the Pharaoh would make the Israelites into slaves

Moses and the exodus
Moses and the Exodus

  • Moses, an Egyptian Israelite, has God speak to him

  • God demanded he lead the Israelites out of Egypt

  • God casts down plagues on Egypt to free to the Israelites

  • Moses leads the Jews on a journey called the Exodus (celebrated today during Passover)

  • After wandering in the desert for years, the Jews find Mount Sinai, where Moses is given the Ten Commandments

    - After Sinai, the Jews would fight for years and years to gain back Canaan, eventually getting it back, the land was then renamed, Israel


  • What was life like in Canaan?

  • No government, judges, farmers, continued faith

  • Saul – The first King of Israel

  • David – The second King of Israel

  • Israelites are now united, growing and centered around Jerusalem

  • Solomon – The third King of Israel

  • Oversees the height of Israeli life, wealth and power

  • What happens to Israel following the death of Solomon?

Israel cont
Israel cont...

  • Israel and Judah

  • Who’s who? Kingdom of Judah AKA the JEWS

    > 10 northern tribes and two southern tribes

  • Israel falls to the Assyrians, Judah falls to the Chaldeans (circa 722 BC)

    > The Jews are enslaved for 50 years AKA Diaspora

  • Persia takes the Chaldeans, allowing the Jews to return home (some do, some don’t)

  • Judaism – Religion is the foundation

  • Monotheism, worship of ONE God

  • Justice and Righteousness

  • Obedience to the Law (think, Ten Commandments)

  • Texts: Torah, Prophets, Writings and the Talmud

The persian empire 550 350 bc
The Persian Empire (550-350 BC)

  • The Persian Empire was a giant empire that arose in Southwest Asia that was built upon tolerance and a wise government. (Unlike the Assyrians)

  • In 550 B.C., Persian King Cyrus defeated several neighboring kingdoms to mark the beginning of the Persian Empire.

    • In 11 years (550-539 B.C.) Cyrus conquered all of the Fertile Crescent and most of Asia minor.

    • Cyrus believed that when his army marched into a defeated city, that there would be no looting or destroying of any buildings/temples.

    • Cyrus believed that it was wise leave local customs and religions alone.


Persia cont
Persia cont...

  • King Cyrus was killed in 530 B.C. and then his son, Cambyses, took over for 8 years. Cambyses died of a wound suffered by a sword.

  • Cambyses successor was Darius who governed the fragile empire by using absolute power.

    • Darius used two important tools to hold the empire together.

      > Excellent Road System called the “Royal Road System”

      > Standardized Coinage: The whole empire had a universal money system to trade with.

The royal road system
The Royal Road System

“The Royal Road”

- 1,677 miles

- Took a caravan 3 months to travel this distance.


  • Who was this man?

  • Is Zoroastrianism like any other religion?

  • Ahura is like... Ahriman is like...

  • Dualism is like...

  • Avesta was the teachings of Zoroaster

  • The Greeks all but end the religion

  • The Persian Empire was dialed in

  • The Royal Road enhanced communication throughout the vast empire

  • Art, animals and gold added to Persian culture

  • Persepolis – ceremonial city designed by Darius

  • The Persian Empire was one of PEACE