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Mesopotamia Cradle of Civilization Tigris and Euphrates River Valley. Geography. Fertile Crescent Not many, if any natural barriers Unpredictable flooding. History. Over the course of several thousand years, several successive civilizations occupied the same general area

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Presentation Transcript
geography
Geography
  • Fertile Crescent
  • Not many, if any natural barriers
  • Unpredictable flooding
history
History
  • Over the course of several thousand years, several successive civilizations occupied the same general area
  • Mesopotamia literally means “Land between 2 rivers”
cultural diffusion
Cultural Diffusion
  • With each passing civilization, ideas were shared (or taken when conquered), then modified and improved upon
  • Through this diffusion, a number of achievements were made
achievements by ruling group
Achievements (by ruling group)
  • Sumerians
    • City-State Political Organization
      • Similar cultures, but each ruled itself
    • Smelting of Metals (Bronze and Iron Age)
      • First to use bronze
    • Invented the Wheel, Sail, and Plow
    • Ziggurats – enormous, religious pyramid type buildings
    • Cuneiform writing
    • Organized land development and irrigation canals
    • Numerical system in base 60
      • Ex. 60 minutes in an hour; 360 degrees in a circle
sumerians continued
Sumerians (continued)
  • 4500 B.C. people were settling in the region, then in 3500 B.C. the Sumerians settled there and became the dominant group
sumerian literature
Sumerian Literature
  • Epic of Gilgamesh
    • Early Literature – Story of a young ruler and his quest for immortality
    • Many note the similarities between this and Ecclesiastes in the Bible
    • Gilgamesh learns lessons similar to the ideals of Hammurabi’s Code
decline of sumer
Decline of Sumer
  • Sumerian city-states were weakened due to fighting one another
  • Conquered by Sargon the Akkadian from the North in 2350 B.C.
  • This created the first empire (more than one previously independent nation or people coming under the same control)
hammurabi s code
Hammurabi’s Code
  • Around 2000 B.C. Amorites take over Mesopotamia, and set up at Babylon
  • Hammurabi rules from 1792 B.C. to 1750 B.C. (this is the height of their empire)
  • He created the code, which is the first set of laws to be written down
    • Uniform laws for all
    • Idea the government has duty to people
phoenicians begin c 1200 bc ends c 146 bc
Phoeniciansbegin c. 1200 BC – ends c. 146 BC
  • Alphabet
    • Developed writing system that had one character for one sound
    • Trading partners picked it up
    • The word alphabet comes from their first 2 letters (aleph and beth)
    • Makes learning easier for everyone around the world that encountered it
  • Trading Empire
    • Excellent ship builders and seafarers
    • Some evidence shows that they traded for tin with those on the southern coast of Britain
    • Other evidence suggests they may have traveled all the way around Africa
slide13

Assyriansfirst established c. 2200 BC.c. 859 BC firmly established and thriving; ends c. 608 BC—had many different erasFrom the Tigris to Central Egypt

  • Communication
    • Multi-level to keep rulers informed of goings on
  • Chariots
  • Military Organization
    • Developed through constantly being attacked (no natural barriers)
  • Empire Building and Organization
persians begins c 540 bc ends c 331bc
Persiansbegins c. 540 BC – ends c. 331BC
  • Tolerant Empire – did not destroy cities they conquered
    • Allowed local customs to remain in place
    • Allowed Jews to return to Jerusalem c. 538 BC (had been exiled earlier by Babylonians)
  • Roads (empire wide communication system)
    • Ran from Persia to Anatolia (1677 miles)
  • Structure of Government
    • Divided the vast empire into 20 provinces, governed by a satrap
  • Standing Army
  • Standardized coined money
hebrews
Hebrews
  • Monotheistic Religion
  • Torah/Law of Moses and the Prophets
    • Begins c. 2000-1500BC