Mesopotamia - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Mesopotamia

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  1. Mesopotamia

  2. Geography • Tigres and Euphrates, Fertile Crescent • Land between two rivers, trade on water • Asia Minor/Middle East • Surrounded by desert one side, mountains • Mediterranean Sea to Persian Gulf • Floods and deposits of silt, sporadic=irrigation systems • Roads influence geography barriers • Migration of Indo-Europeans from steppes

  3. Politics • Develop city-states, independent: Sumer, Ur, Babylon, Uruk, Akkad • Compete for resources, fighting • Ziggurat center of city, walled • Military leaders-war heroes, become kings, dynasties • Big government projects, keep government documents • Sargon- first Empire, standing army • Hammurabi- Code 282 laws, first written set of laws, posted=consistency, tax collection, roads-trade • Strict governments formed to deter rebellion, Assyrians: use terrorism as policy tool, seige warfare • Some empires develop almost feudal system: Persians have satraps-local governors

  4. Politics • Chaldeans: Nebuchadnezzar II, captures Jerusalem • Persians: Cyrus, Darius (Ten Thousand Immortals), Xerxes

  5. Economics • Farming-irrigation, bronze plowing tools • Textile trades • Regional trading, use waterways • Sewer • Roads lead to permanent trading routes, shipping by water develops also: Royal Road, move trade, messages, 1500 miles • Barley, cattle • Phoenicians first coins

  6. Religion • Polytheistic-many gods • Have patron gods for each city-states • Priests/priestess powerful • Human qualities • Good v evil-dualism-Zoroastrianism, founder Zoroaster, Ahura Mazda v. Ahriman • Book: Avesta • Ziggurats temples, pyramid structure • Gods explain nature

  7. Society • Woman status as priestess, some scribes, some are educated • Hierarchy: king, priests, agents • Landowners, wealthy merchants • Artisans, farmers, laborers • Slaves: Chaldeans use Jewish pop as slaves • Assyrians fierce warfare society

  8. Intellect • Cuneiform- writing using sharp tools on clay tablets • Permanent records, post laws, written culture- literature • Cylinder seals • Role scribe • Epic of Gilgamesh- story legendary king • Math based on 60, time 60 minutes, 360 degrees • Basic surgery • Assyrian library:Nineveh • Astronomy-calendar based on phases of the moon • Phoenician alphabet

  9. Arts • EPIC, songs, poems • Textiles • Sculpture • Architecture • Ivory, bronze • Pottery • Phoenicians glass blowing • Babylon Hanging Gardens • Persians: Persepolis, arches, lots of animals • Purple dye • Hittites ironworking developments

  10. Decline • Sargon, Akkadian Empire, last 140 years • Babylon, Amorite, Hammurabi, about 200 years • Hittites • Kassites • Assyrians • Chaldeans • Phoenicians • Persians • Alexander the Great of Greece