MESOPOTAMIA Geography. Southwest Asia Between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers Runs from the Mediterranean Sea and empties into the Persian Gulf Taurus Mountains to the north. MESOPOTAMIA Religion. Polytheistic -the worship of many gods
Between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
Runs from the Mediterranean Sea and empties into the Persian Gulf
Taurus Mountains to the north
Polytheistic-the worship of many gods
Each city-state considered one god to be its protector
The people believed gods had enormous power over their lives which led many to be superstitious.
Religion was the basis of all aspects of society.
Priests performed religious ceremonies. Priest were the second highest class in the social hierarchy, just below the king.
The Sumerians developed cuneiform, which was the world’s first system of writing.
They were also the first people to build wheeled vehicles including wheel-carts.
Cylinder seals are famous Sumerian works of art. They were stone cylinders engraved with designs and used like stamps.
Irrigation was used by Sumerians to supply water to large areas of land with a series of canals and ditches. It enabled them to farm much larger areas.
The Akkadians, under the rule of Sargon, became the 1st empire to have a permanent army.
Over time, another society developed along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. They were known as the Akkadians and were ruled by Sargon. He led violent attacks against the Sumerians and established the first permanent army in history.
A brilliant war leader, Hammurabi, became king of Babylon and eventually conquered Mesopotamia. He established Hammurabi’s Code which was a set of laws that dealt with every part of daily life and would become his most famous achievement.
Other civilizations which developed in the Fertile Crescent included the Chaldeans, ruled byNebuchadnezzar. His forces destroyed the Assyrian Empire and established their own empire in its place.
To solve problems with the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, Mesopotamians used irrigation-a way of supplying water to an area of land.
Irrigation increased the amount of food farmers were able to grow, they could even produce a food surplus-more than they needed.
Because irrigation made farming easier and created a surplus of food, people were able to do other jobs.
New occupations were developed such as crafters, religious leaders, and government workers, created Division of labor.
Division of labor-type of arrangement in which each worker specializes in a particular task or job.
Later, taxes were collected for projects.
Traders-merchants and craftspeople
The Nile River flows North
Cataracts-strong rapids along the Nile River
There are 6 cataracts in Upper Egypt.
The most northern cataract marks the border between Upper and Lower Egypt
Delta-triangle shaped area of land made of soil deposited by a river
Polytheistic-the worship of many gods
Priests performed religious ceremonies. Priest were the second highest class in the social hierarchy, just below the pharaoh. This class also included government officials.
Egyptians believed their pharaohs were gods on earth. This led them to believe the pharaoh’s were their link to the afterlife.
Afterlife-life after death
Ka-a person’s life force
Egyptians believed when a person died their Ka becomes a spirit but the spirit can not leave the burial place
This is why they decorated tombs with furniture, clothing, jewelry, etc.
Egyptians believed bodies had to be prepared for the afterlife which is why they developed the method of preserving bodies as mummies, which are specially treated bodies wrapped in cloth.
Egyptian’s developed one of the first writing systems using hieroglyphics, which used pictures and symbols to represent words and sounds.
They recorded these hieroglyphics on papyrus. Papyrus was a long-lasting, paper-like material made from reeds.
The pyramids are some of Egypt’s most famous achievements. They are huge stone tombs with four triangle-shaped walls that met in a point on top and were built to bury Egyptian rulers.
Like the Sumerians, Egyptians also used irrigation systems to transport water from the Nile River to dry areas of land. This allowed them to farm much larger areas.
Around 3100 BC, a leader named Menes came to power in Upper Egypt and unified Upper and Lower Egypt under his control. By doing so, he became the first pharaoh of Egypt.
Khufu was the most famous pharaoh of the Old Kingdom. He is best known for the monuments that were built to honor him.
Ramses was the longest ruling pharaoh in Egyptian history. During his rule, Egypt’s military had violent clashes with the neighboring Hittites.
The tomb of King Tut, a Egyptian pharaoh, was filled with large amounts of treasure. By examining his tomb and the treasures within, we are able to learn about Egyptian history.
Queen Hatshepsut worked to increase Egyptian trade with neighboring kingdoms. She had many monuments and temples built to honor her including a huge temple near Thebes.
Trade with Egypt’s neighbors helped it expand.
Farmers (80% of population) gave Crops to the Pharaoh as taxes.
Tax money was used for pyramids.
Scribes and Craftspeople