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MESOPOTAMIA. Means Land Between 2 rivers: Euphrates River, Tigris River Present day Iraq. The Fertile Crescent. Mesopotamia—the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers Irrigation transformed the original hunter-gatherers into small farming communities

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MESOPOTAMIA


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    1. MESOPOTAMIA Means Land Between 2 rivers: Euphrates River, Tigris River Present day Iraq

    2. The Fertile Crescent • Mesopotamia—the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers • Irrigation transformed the original hunter-gatherers into small farming communities • ca. 4000 BCE the peoples of Mesopotamia began to replace stone and bone tools and weapons with metal, thus marking the end of the Stone Age and the beginning of the Bronze Age

    3. Eastern Mediterranean Basin and Major Mesopotamian Capitals,ca. 2600-2500 BCE

    4. Religion in Ancient Mesopotamia • Polytheistic—multiple gods and goddesses connected to the forces of nature (sun and sky, water and storm, earth and its fertility • Mesopotamian ruler often represented as a “priest-king” and believed to possess divine attributes • Ziggurats, pyramidal temples consisting of successive platforms with outside staircases and shrines at the top, functioned as sacred places

    5. Mesopotamia • Sumerian: 3000-2300 BCE • Akkadian: 2300-2150 BCE • Neo-Sumerian: 2100-2000 BCE • Babylonian: 1800-1600 BCE • Hittites from Anatolia: 1600-1000 BCE • Assyrian: 900-612 BCE largest empire to date

    6. Mesopotamia • Neo-Babylonian: 612-538 BCE • Achaemenid Persian 538-330 BCE • (even larger empire than Assyrian) • Alexander conquers Persia & Egypt • Greco-Roman rule 330-224 CE • Sassanian: 224-636 BCE

    7. Remains of the City of Ur (modern Muqaiyir, Iraq), ca. 2100 BCE

    8. The Ziggurat at Urca. 2100 BCE

    9. Reconstructed Drawing of the Ziggurat at Ur • The best preserved and most fully restored of the ancient Sumerian temples • Platforms might have been covered with soil and planted with trees • Weeper holes, venting ducts loosely filled with broken pottery, in the side of the ziggurat would have drained rainwater • Bridge between heaven and earth

    10. Tell Asmar Statues • Discovered in shrine room of the Abu Temple ziggurat in Tell Asmar, near modern Baghdad • Ten men and two women, the tallest being approx. 30” • Huge eyes and clasped hands, suggestive of worshippers gazing in perpetual awe at the deity

    11. Tell Asmar StatuesMarble, Alabaster, and Gypsumca. 2590-2500 BCE

    12. Mesopotamian Music • Two lyres discovered at Ur in the royal tombs of either King Meskalamdug or Queen Puabi • Bodies of two women (the singers or musicians?) found under the lyres • Decorations related to the Epic of Gilgamesh • Indicate that music was important in Mesopotamian society

    13. Lyre from Tomb at Ur Gold leaf and lapis lazuli over wood core, ca. 2600 BCE Soundbox front panel of the lyre Wood with inlaid gold, lapis lazuli, and shell ca. 2600 BCE

    14. Royal Standard of Ur • Rectangular box of unknown function • Main panels called “War” and “Peace” because they illustrate on one side a military victory and on the other a banquet with musicians • Social perspective, or hierarchy of scale—most important figures (king) represented as larger than the others

    15. Royal Standard of UrShell, lapis lazuli, and red limestone, 8’ x 19’ca. 2600 BCE

    16. Cuneiform Writing • Writing first appeared in the middle of the 4th millennium BCE as pictograms—pictures that represent a thing or concept—etched into clay tablets • Beginning about 2900 BCE, scribes adopted a straight-line script made with a triangular-tipped stylus, or writing tool, cut from reeds • The resulting impressions looked like wedges. Cuneiform writing is named from the Latin cuneus, wedge Pictograms

    17. Sumerian Tablet from Lagash, modern Tello, IraqClay, ca. 2360 BCE

    18. Fragment of Tablet 11 of the Epic of GilgameshSecond millennium BCE

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