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Mesopotamia The land between two rivers.  Geography-  Lies between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers  Modern day Iraq  Why did people settle there?

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Presentation on theme: "Mesopotamia The land between two rivers.  Geography-  Lies between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers  Modern day Iraq  Why did people settle there?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Mesopotamia The land between two rivers


3  Geography-  Lies between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers  Modern day Iraq  Why did people settle there? The answer is….


5  This area is part of what is called…  The Fertile Crescent  Consists of extremely fertile soil  Rivers provide water, soil, fish,clay,reeds for building etc.


7 First Cities  The first cities developed in Sumer around 3500BC  Cities shared culture and language  Did not share rulers  Each city had its own form of laws, gods and king  called a CITY-STATE

8 The Sumerians  3500BC-2000BC  Invented Writing to keep records, Codify laws, transmit knowledge  Men and women wore shirts of sheepskin with fleece still attached soldiers and servants wore short shirts…Royalty wore long shirts  Men and women had long hair pulled into a bun sometimes the men were shaved to discourage vermin  Royals wore gold jewelry

9  One group to move to Sumeria were the Akkadians a Semitic tribe (language similar to Arabic and Hebrew)  Formed their own country called Akkad  Many clashes with Sumerians

10 Clothes  Shirt, loin cloth and tunic  Shoes were made of leather and had an upward curve to the toe

11 Early Writing  Scribes Very important writers who kept records for the king (highly respected)  The earliest writing in Mesopotamia was a picture writing invented by the Sumerians who wrote on clay tablets using long reeds called a STYLUS.  cuneiform- which is derived from two Latin words: cuneus, which means "wedge," and forma, which means "shape."


13  Sumerian clay tablets

14 Literature  The Epic of Gilgamesh, is one of the oldest works of literature in the world. This epic is a collection of stories about a hero named Gilgamesh.  Gilgamesh travels the world in search of eternal life. On his journey, he meets the sole survivor of a great flood that destroyed the world. (Archaeologists have found evidence suggesting that a catastrophic flood devastated Mesopotamia somewhere about 4,900 years ago.) By the end of the story, Gilgamesh has learned the greatest truth of all- that even heroes must die


16  This epic offers a glimpse into Sumerian civilization. We learn that the people believed in powerful goddesses who exhibited very human emotions.  The Sumerians valued gold, copper, and gems, rode in wheeled chariots, and used mules to carry goods

17  Sumerians practiced POLYTHEISM- The belief in MANY gods  Myths told of punishment and rewards of the gods  Music food and statues were used to honor the gods

18 Fall of Sumer  I think that title is pretty funny!  ANYWAY  City- states fought over land and water  ******Whenever a society is weak, other people can come in and conquer it.******  Babylonians conquer in 1700s BC

19 The Babylonians  Conquered the Sumerians  King Hammurabi (1792-1750BC)  Code of Hammurabi  “An eye for an eye”  First organized set of laws  CODE OF LAWS.doc CODE OF LAWS.doc CODE OF LAWS.doc

20 The King The Governors The Aristocracy The Peasantry Social and political organization: The King: he had military powers. The Governors: they governed the territories of the kingdom. They were generals and judges at the same time. The aristocracy: they were priests and traders. The peasants: the people who work the land.

21 Social Class  Nobility- Kings and members of government  Freemen- Artisans and tradesmen  The poor- farmers  Slaves- Worth nothing wives and children sold to pay debt. Many were….  Foreign captives and children of slaves

22 Family  This was a PATRIARCHAL society  Marriage was contractual  Man had one wife, but many concubines  Man could sell his children into slavery to pay debts  Women were not that important  Divorce was O.K. if wife couldn’t have children

23 The Assyrians 1600-612BC  They conquered the Babylonians  Very warlike- Had an army  Swords made of IRON  Very cruel warriors  They were conquered by the Chaldeans

24 Geography  Assyria is located in north Mesopotamia two great rivers run through Assyria, the Tigris and the Euhprates, To the north and east of Assyria lie the Taurus and Zagros mountains.. These two features create a geographical boundary between Assyria and the neighboring land to the south.  To the south of Baghdad lies Babylon.

25 The Chaldeans  After the fall of Assyrian power in Mesopotamia, the last great group of people dominated the area.  They had suffered under the Assyrians  The city of Babylon finally rose up against its hated enemy, the city of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire, and burned it to the ground.  The chief of the Babylonians was Nabopolassar

26  Nabopolassar was succeeded by his son, Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 BC).  Nebuchadnezzar was the equal of all the great Mesopotamian conquerors combined  he conquered the Phoenicians and the state of Judah (586 BC)  "New Babylonians," or Chaldeans forced a large part of the Jewish population to relocate. this deportation marks the beginning of the Exile in Jewish history.




30 Gate of Ishtar


32  Under Nebuchadnezzar, the city of Babylon was rebuilt with great splendor.  It would eventually become one of the most magnificent human cities in the area of the Middle East and Mediterranean.  The entire period dominated by the Babylonians. Babylon in 555 BC came under the control of a king loyal to the Assyrians,

33 Nabonidus (555-539 BC), placed the Assyrian moon-god, Sin, above the Babylonian's principal god, Marduk. Priests and those faithful to Babylon would welcome Cyrus the Conqueror of Persia into their city and end forever Semitic domination of Mesopotamia

34  The center of the Middle Eastern world shifted to Cyrus's capital, Susa, and it would shift again after the Greeks and then the Romans.  For almost two and a half centuries, Mesopotamia and Babylon dominated early civilization in the Middle East

35  Sumerians 3500-2000 BC  Babylonians 2000-1155 BC  Assyrians 1600-612 BC  Chaldeans “New and Improved”  Hittites 1750-1200 BC

36 Summary  Where- Between Tigris and Euphrates rivers  When- 3500BC-2000BC  First Civilization  Invented written language  Mathematics 60 seconds-60 minutes  Divided the circle into 360 parts  Developed a twelve month calendar based on lunar cycles  Used the wheel and made vehicles  Invented the plow and the sailboat  Ancient wonders of the world

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