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The Fertile Crescent. Round Robin Discussion. Would you consider the hunter-gatherer societies studied in Unit 1 “civilizations?” Why or why not? What would you consider to be the major characteristics of a civilization? Why did cities develop?

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round robin discussion
Round Robin Discussion
  • Would you consider the hunter-gatherer societies studied in Unit 1 “civilizations?” Why or why not?
  • What would you consider to be the major characteristics of a civilization?
  • Why did cities develop?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in a city?

We are about to study the world’s first civilizations.

  • As humans made advances in farming, they could produce more food to feed more people.
  • Small villages grew into towns, which grew into cities.
  • Where did the earliest farming communities tend to develop?
where civilization began
Where Civilization Began
  • About 3500 BC the first civilization developed.
  • CIVILIZATIONS are groups of people who have a complex and organized society within a culture.
  • Civilizations first developed in southwestern Asia in a crescent-shaped area.
  • This area was called the Fertile Crescent.

Today, the land of the Fertile Crescent is part of the countries of Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel.

  • Mesopotamia was one of the first civilizations to rise up from this area.
  • Mesopotamia means “land between the rivers”
  • The two rivers that Mesopotamia is located in between are the TIGRIS AND EUPHRATES rivers.
  • Label the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and Mesopotamia on your NEW map.
  • The climate in this region is hot and dry.
  • The Tigris and Euphrates rivers, however, provide a constant water source and rich, fertile soil. This is why early people settled here.
  • Early farmers built systems of irrigation to water their crops. This brought water from the rivers to their fields.
  • What benefits did the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers supply?
  • How did irrigation help the people of Mesopotamia grow crops?
the people
The People
  • The people of Mesopotamia began to develop better methods of building houses. They mixed mud with straw to build very sturdy buildings.
  • People used these bricks to build homes, temples, and palaces.
  • Farmers or herders domesticated goats, cattle, and sheep.
  • Farmers paid close attention to how they grew their crops. This created a surplus.
  • Mesopotamians transported food and goods on the rivers.
  • How did the Mesopotamians solve the problem of scarce building materials?
  • How do you think having surplus crops would affect people’s lives?
growth of city states and trade
Growth of City-States and Trade
  • Once farming techniques had been improved in southern Mesopotamia, the population grew.
  • By 3500 B.C., several villages had grown into city-states.
  • A CITY-STATE is an individual unit, complete with its own form of government and traditions.
  • Because there was a surplus of food, it was no longer necessary for all of the people to work as farmers and herders.
  • Some people helped govern the city, while others were religious leaders or soldiers. Some were ARTISANS, or craftspeople.

Mesopotamia lacked many natural resources, so some people also became traders.

    • They packed up donkeys for land journeys.
    • They built reed boats to trade along the river.
    • They built large wooden ships to travel the Persian Gulf, the real gateway to the world.
      • Label the Persian Gulf on your map.
  • As villages grew into city-states, how did they change?
  • After some villages grew into city-states, what kinds of jobs developed?