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River Cities Rise and Fall of Sumer How did the first civilizations use religion and government to organize people to control nature? What is the best.

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Presentation on theme: "River Cities Rise and Fall of Sumer How did the first civilizations use religion and government to organize people to control nature? What is the best."— Presentation transcript:

1 River Cities Rise and Fall of Sumer How did the first civilizations use religion and government to organize people to control nature? What is the best way to enforce laws?

2 Unit Two: Sumer The Problem: How do you get people to work together on complicated tasks? In this class we have a complicated task. We have much to learn so that everyone is prepared to go out in the world and work to make it a better place. You will share the world with everyone in this room. Each of you need to know that you can rely on everyone else in here to do their part. How do we make sure that people do not distract one another, and that all learning is completed?

3 Lesson 1: People had to work together to control nature. From village to city Controlling the Rivers ~4000 bc Neolithic farming villages in Mid East began to fail. People left highlands and congregated in the river valleys where there was more water The first cities developed in Sumer, an area of Mesopotamia. “Land between the rivers”, Tigris and Euphrates. Before they could build their cities though, they had to learn how to change the environment to control flooding.

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5 Using evidence from this picture: what are all of the ways the Sumerians altered the environment to help them survive in this area? What sort of things need to be organized and enforced in order to build and maintain these changes?

6 Review Slide: Lesson 1 Historical Literacy: Record the definition for the following words in your Historical Literacy Sheet in your packet when you review your notes tonight. Fertile CrescentMesopotamiaLevees Rise and Fall Concepts: 1. Why did Neolithic farmers have to leave their land and move into the river valleys? 2. What advantages does a river give? What problems do they present? 3.Give me three examples of how the Sumerians changed the environment to better use the river or protect themselves from it. 4.Three examples of things that the government of Sumer would have to control to keep things working.

7 Lesson 2: The Sumerians had to organize a more complicated government to control people to control the environment. City States Theocracy Sumer civ. was organized into independent cities made up of the actual city and surrounding farmland. Had same culture as neighboring cities, but not the same leaders. A government run by the religion - Sumerian first type of government. All laws, rules and leadership were based on peoples religious beliefs. So – first we need to understand their religious beliefs…

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9 Lesson 2: The Sumerians had to organize a more complicated government to control people to control the environment. Sumerian View of their environment Role of gods Sumerian Afterlife Motivation in Life Tricky, uncontrollable place full of unpredictable floods and droughts that needed a lot of explanation 3000+ gods to explain everything in nature. Everything not understood. /Polytheistic = having multiple gods. They are the ones who make the uncontrollable environment A grey cold place where everyone just kind of wanders around Keep the gods happy with sacrifices and offerings so they don’t punish you and you die before you have to.

10 Lesson 2: The Sumerians had to organize a more complicated government to control people to control the environment. Priests Role of The Priest King The Assembly Ziggurats Responsible for remembering all gods, how to appease them, all rituals, and sacrifices. Priest acted as head of church and a king of the land./ Controls society by making people keep the gods happy and threatening that they’ll punish people who don’t. Made up of all free men/ gave Priest King advice/ chose military leader during times of war. The place where government and religion came together./ Temples to the gods where sacrifices were made and kept./ Dominated center of city. /Trade goods were stored beneath and surrounded by markets

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13 Lesson 2: The Sumerians had to organize a more complicated government to control people to control the environment. Laws Social Stratification It was the job of each Priest King to settle disputes and issue punishments Civil Laws: Settle disputes over things like ownership. Land, inheritance, legal rights. Criminal Laws: Someone breaks a law. Each Priest King in each city though would do it differently. Developed idea that some jobs of some people made them more important than others. Developed a Hierarchy of jobs Peoples place in the society was reflected in where they lived in the city. Closer to Zig, more important you were.

14 How Sumerian Hierarchy was seen in where you live:

15 Review Slide: Lesson 2 Historical Literacy: Record the definition for the following words in your Historical Literacy Sheet in your packet when you review your notes tonight. TheocracyPolytheisticZiggurat HierarchyPriest King Social Stratification, Civil Law, Criminal Law Rise and Fall Concepts: 1.What is a city state? How does it differ from our modern cities and countries? 2.How did the Sumerians opinion of their gods and afterlife motivate them to do the “right” thing in life? 3.How would a Sumerian Priest King get people to stop using plastic water bottles? How would President Obama do it? Which do you think is more effective? 4.How does a building like a Ziggurat help to organize people and work? 5.Even though farmers produce the very food we eat, why did they become seen as less important? 6.Give an example of a civil law case. Give an example of a Criminal law case. 7.So why would Sumerians want to do what the Priest King told them to do?

16 Lesson 3: The Sumerians developed new technologies and resources to help organize their society. Writing ~3300 developed a system of writing called cuneiform. Originally developed as a way to record goods coming into the Ziggurat. The writing system changed and developed over time. Because every symbol represented a word, it was very complicated. Over 6000 different symbols Special job of “Scribe” to be able to write. Developed first schools called “Eddubas” to teach people how to be a scribe. Over time, writing could be used to write down all sorts of ideas. Stories like “Gilgamesh” or even write down laws for everyone to know.

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18 Lesson 3: The Sumerians developed new technologies and resources to help organize their society. Bronze Sumerian metal workers learned to melt together copper and tin to create an alloy that was harder than both. Liquid metal could be poured into molds to make all sorts of new tools easier. Bronze made the work of the city much easier. It also made many more resources available.

19 Lesson 3: The Sumerians developed new technologies and resources to help organize their society. Armies Once you had bronze, you could equip a larger group of people to be soldiers. Most soldiers at this point were citizen soldiers – not a professional army. Armies are used to protect the resources you have, or to take the ones that you don’t have. One key resource that armies are getting are slaves – or defeated people from other cities. Slaves were used for cheap labor. Most were prisoners of war. They did have rights and were treated humanely.

20 Lesson 3: The Sumerians developed new technologies and resources to help organize their society. Toys and Games We know that Sumer had a large toy and game industry. This indicates that Sumer had reached a point where people had leisure time. But how does this help organize and control people?

21 Review Slide: Lesson 3 Historical Literacy: Record the definition for the following words in your Historical Literacy Sheet in your packet when you review your notes tonight. ScribeCuneiformGilgamesh Edubbas Rise and Fall Concepts: Why did the Sumerians need to create writing? Once they developed it, what other things could they start doing with it? How does this help you control your society? Once you develop metal tools like bronze, what other technologies and institutions can be developed? Why did you have to develop bronze before you could develop armies? How come Sumerians were able to develop games and other forms of entertainment? How does this help your society grow?

22 Lesson 4: Sumer’s government ordered people to destroy the environment and caused their collapse: Problem with levees Problem with irrigation Government response Long term consequences Raises elevation of river/ lowers farmland. Doesn’t replace nutrients with fresh silt. Similar to New Orleans Salinization. Soil and ground water becomes too salty to grow food or to drink. Water logged soil forces salt up to the surface – especially for cities down river. Water left on surface evaporates leaving more salt. Should have left the fields to sit and let salt work its way out, but kings power demanded a large army be fed so they forced farmers to just keep doing the same thing. Soon could only grow Barley, but even that began to fail. Not enough food for population. Illness and disease, decline in population

23 Lesson 4: Sumer’s government ordered people to destroy the environment and caused their collapse: The Akkadians Advantages to being in Empire Disadvantages 2200bc – Sargon I, ruler of Akkad, begins to develop the first Empire. Empire= A collection of political units (city- states) run by the leader of another political unit (Emperor)

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25 Nomadic Raiders Sumerian Independence The Amorites Lesson 4: Sumer’s government ordered people to destroy the environment and caused their collapse: By 2000 bc. Nomads from Zagros Mountains were constantly raiding weakened Sumerian cities. No longer in Akkad’s interest to defend them. For 200 years Sumer is independent again – but have to deal with all their environmental problems on their own. Quickly begin to collapse 1800bc, conquered by a new Empire out of Babylon. But, by this time most of Sumerian cities had been abandoned. Sumerians are refugees to new cities to the north

26 Review Slide: Lesson 2:5 Historical Literacy: Record the definition for the following words in your Historical Literacy Sheet in your packet when you review your notes tonight. EmpireSargon ISalinization Rise and Fall Concepts: What two problems did the building of levees cause for the soil of Sumer What two factors cause salinization, why is it bad for food production How did Sumer’s government fail to fix the problem How would life have been better living in Sargon’s Empire? Why didn’t the Akkadians want to hold on to Sumer? Why is it a good thing to be taken over by another empire like the Amorites?


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