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3500-500 B.C. . Chapter 2: Western Asia & Egypt. Chapter 2: Section 1. Civilization Begins in Mesopotamia. The land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers was known as “Mesopotamia”.

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Chapter 2: Western Asia & Egypt


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    1. 3500-500 B.C. Chapter 2: Western Asia & Egypt

    2. Chapter 2: Section 1 Civilization Begins in Mesopotamia

    3. The land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers was known as “Mesopotamia”. Mesopotamia was located at the eastern end of the Fertile Crescent, an arc of land from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. This land would be enriched by large deposits of silt, which was deposited by the two rivers during unpredictable flooding in late spring. The Fertile Crescent

    4. People in Mesopotamia controlled flooding by creating irrigation and drainage ditches. This allowed for the growing of an abundance of food and civilization emerged. The Fertile Crescent

    5. The Sumerians were the creators of the first Mesopotamian civilization. The Mesopotamians were polytheistic believing in over 3,000 different gods or goddesses. The Fertile Crescent

    6. By 3,000 B.C. the Sumerians had established a number of independent city-states in southern Mesopotamia, including Eridu, Ur, and Uruk. Sumerian Cities

    7. Sumerian cities like Uruk, were surrounded by walls as long as 10 km with defense towers every 10 meters. Uruk, one of the largest cities had a population of an estimated 50,000 people by 2700 B.C. Walls and structures were made of sun dried brick due to a lack of wood and stone for building purposes. Sumerian Cities

    8. The most prominent building in a Sumerian city was the temple built to honour the local deity. The temple was bulit upon a massive stepped tower like structure called a Ziggurat. Religion and Rulers

    9. The Temples and related buildings served as the center of the city physically, economically, and even politically. Surplus food and crafts were stored in the temple and then distributed or traded. It is possible that the early priests had a part in ruling and the Sumerian government was a theocracy- a government by divine authority. Religion and Rulers

    10. Eventually power would reside in the office of the king who would lead armies, supervise public works construction and organized workers for irrigation projects. Religion and Rulers

    11. Around 3,000 B.C. the Sumerians created a cuneiform system of writing. Using a reed stylus , they made wedge shaped impressions on clay tablets, which were then baked in the sun. A system of writing was important because it allowed for the keeping of records and the passing of knowledge. Writing and Literature

    12. One of the earliest surviving works of Sumerian literature is the Epic of Gilgamesh. It tells the tale of the adventures the Uruk King, Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu. Writing and Literature

    13. The Sumerians developed several tools and techniques that made life easier. It is believed they were the first to use the wagon wheel for transportation. The potters wheel was created to craft containers. The sundial helped them keep an accurate track of time. They were the first to use the arch in buildings. It is believed the Sumerians were the first to craft bronze from copper and tin. They developed a number system based on 60. Geometry was used to measure fields and chart the constellations. Technology

    14. To the north of the Sumerian city-states were the Akkadians. Around 2340 B.C. Sargon their leader conquered the Sumerian city-states and established the first empire. The Akkadian and Babylonian Empires

    15. The Akkadian Empire would fall around 2100 B.C., due to increased attacks from its neighbours. Independent city-states fought for control until 1792 B.C. when Hammurabi, the sixth king of the Amorite Dynasty came to power in Babylon. He gained control over the cities of Sumer and Akkad, creating a new Babylonian Empire. The Akkadian and Babylonian Empires

    16. One of Hammurabi’s greatest achievements was the creation of a single unified legal code. The Code of Hammurabi was based on strict justice and penalties were severe. It dealt with criminal, commercial, legislative, and public law covering just about every aspect of people’s lives. The Code of Hammurabi

    17. Hammurabi’s Empire