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Vocab - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Vocab. scribe : a professional writer Fertile Crescent : a region in Southwest Asia; site of the first civilizations city-state : a city that is also a separate, independent state polytheism : the belief in many gods

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Presentation Transcript
  • scribe: a professional writer
  • Fertile Crescent: a region in Southwest Asia; site of the first civilizations
  • city-state: a city that is also a separate, independent state
  • polytheism: the belief in many gods
  • myth: a traditional story; in some cultures, a legend that explains people’s beliefs
  • What does Mesopotamia mean?
  • What does that tell you about its location?

Mesopotamia is Greek for “between the rivers.”

Mesopotamia is between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. It is located mostly within modern-day Iraq.

  • What region is Mesopotamia part of?
  • Why was its location important?

It’s part of the Fertile Crescent, a region in Southwest Asia that was the site of the world’s first civilizations.

The rivers helped to make it one of the best places in Southwest Asia for growing crops.


In spring, melting snow picked up topsoil as it rushed down from the mountains and flooded the land. The floods left this topsoil on the plain below.

Also, the river supplied fish, clay for building, and tall strong reeds used to make boats.

Sometimes floods came without warning, destroyed houses and crops, and killed people and animals.

The soil was so good for farming that survivors would rebuild in the same location.

  • Why was its location important? (continued)
  • How else did the river affect people?
  • How did geography help civilizations to develop in the area?
the first cities sumerian religion
The First Cities/Sumerian Religion
  • Partner read
  • Answer questions 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b
  • empire: many territories and people controlled by one government
  • Babylon: the capital of Babylonia; a city of great wealth and luxury
  • caravan: a group of travelers journeying together
  • bazaar: a market selling different kinds of goods.
  • Zoroastrianism: a religion that developed in ancient Persia.
  • conquer: to gain control over someone or something.
  • expand: to spread out or make greater in size.
  • invade: to enter as an enemy.

We will:

  • Learn about the three most important empires of the Fertile Crescent.
  • Find out what characterized the Babylonian and Assyrian empires.
  • Investigate the achievements of the Persian Empire.

Sumerian priests washed the statues of the gods before and after each meal was offered. Music sounded and incense burned as huge plates of food were laid before them. In most ancient religions, the food was often eaten after it was presented to the gods. Perhaps the worshipers thought that by eating the offering, they would be taking in the qualities they admired in the gods.

Which conclusion can you reach, based on the passage?

A. The Sumerians were not as intelligent as modern people.

B. Only priests were allowed into temples.

C. The Sumerians did not like to waste food.

D. Religious ceremonies were important to the Sumerians.

what if
What if…
  • Someone was herding some oxen down the street and an ox gored a religious leader.
  • A farmer used his irrigation ditches to water his crops, but was careless and accidentally flooded his neighbor’s field, destroying the crop.
  • A teenage boy punched his dad.


  • alphabet: a set of symbols that represent the sounds of a language.
  • monotheism: the belief in one god.
  • famine: a time when there is so little food that many people starve.
  • exile: to force someone to live in another country.