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Ch. 3 Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent. Section 1: Geography of the Fertile Crescent. Mesopotamia – “between the rivers” Tigris and Euphrates rivers Fertile Crescent – a large arc of rich, or fertile, farmland Persian Gulf to Mediterranean Sea First civilizations developed here

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Ch. 3 Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent


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    1. Ch. 3Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent

    2. Section 1: Geography of the Fertile Crescent • Mesopotamia – “between the rivers” • Tigris and Euphrates rivers • Fertile Crescent – a large arc of rich, or fertile, farmland • Persian Gulf to Mediterranean Sea • First civilizations developed here • Floods brought silt – a mixture of rich soil and tiny rocks

    3. Irrigation – a way of supplying water to an area of land • Canals – human-made waterways • Led to a farm surplus – more than they need • Division of labor – workers specialize in a particular task or job

    4. Effects of Food Surplus • Society could accomplish more • Need for structure and rules • Settlements grew in size and complexity

    5. Section 2: The Rise of Sumer • Sumerians developed the world’s first civilization. • Created an advanced society. • Rural – countryside • Urban – city • City-state – consisted of a city and all the countryside around it • Empire – land with different territories and peoples under a single rule.

    6. Religion Shapes Society • Basis of Sumerian society • Polytheism – worship of many gods • Priests – people who performed religious ceremonies. • Social hierarchy – division of society by rank or class • King, priests, traders, farmers, laborers, slaves

    7. Role of Men and Women • Men held political power and made laws • Women took care of the home and children • Education was usually reserved for men – some upper class women were educated

    8. Section 3: Sumerian Achievements • Cuneiform – the world’s first system of writing • One of the greatest cultural advances in history • Pictographs – picture symbols • Scribe – writer • Kept records • Epics – long poems that tell the stories of heroes

    9. Advances and Inventions • The wheel • The potter’s wheel • The plow • The clock • Built sewers • Bronze for better tools and weapons

    10. Math • System based on the number 60 • Divided a circle into 360 degrees • Divided the year into 12 months • Science and medicine • Study of the natural world

    11. The Arts • Architecture – the science of building • Ziggurat – pyramid shaped temple tower • Statues • Pottery • Jewelry • Cylinder seals • Music

    12. Section 4: Later Peoples of the Fertile Crescent • Groups invade Mesopotamia. • Led to the rise of Babylon. • Hammurabi became monarch – a ruler of a kingdom or empire. • Hammurabi’s Code – set of 282 laws that dealt with almost every part of daily life. • “an eye for an eye”

    13. The Hittites were the next to invade. • Advantages: • Ironworking = stronger weapons • Chariot– a wheeled horse-drawn cart used in battle. • The Hittites were followed by the Assyrians and the Chaldeans.

    14. The Phoenicians • Built an empire by the Mediterranean. • Traded throughout the Mediterranean Sea. • Carriers of civilization • Developed one of the world’s first alphabets – a set of letters that can be combined to form words.