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Mesopotamian Innovations and Contributions

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1 Mesopotamian Innovations and Contributions
6th Grade UBD - Unit 3 - Mesopotamian Innovations and Contributions Mesopotamian Innovations and Contributions

2 Preview Mesopotamian Innovations- Early Mesopotamians developed a number of innovations. These greatly improved the lives of the people, particularly in the area of agriculture. Hammurabi’s Code of Law- Hammurabi was a Babylonian king. He collected the laws into a single code. This code laid out how people should obey the laws. It also made clear how people would be punished for breaking them.

3 Reach Into Your Background
The ancient Mesopotamians developed many inventions and innovations, such as the wheel, the plow, and the calendar. Explain what you think the most important invention today is. (5 minutes)

4 Partner Activity Work with a neighbor and compare your answer with theirs. What things are the same and what things are different? (3 minutes)

5 Key Term Inventor- A person who invented a particular process or device or who invents things as an occupation.

6 Key Term Invention- The action of inventing something, typically a process or device.

7 Key Ideas- Mesopotamian Innovations
The Epic of Gilgamesh was the first written story that we know of. It deals with many themes and ideas still found in literature today. Mesopotamian innovations included the calendar, alphabet, literature, and metal and clay tools. These innovations were taken even further by later cultures.

8 Writing in Mesopotamia
Video- Development of Writing in Mesopotamia

9 The Development of Written Language
The discoveries and developments made by the ancient Mesopotamians had a profound impact on future civilizations, and in many ways form the foundation for Western culture.

10 The Development of Written Language
Mesopotamians introduced such developments as the first known writing system, the first complete code of law, and The Epic of Gilgamesh.

11 The Development of Written Language
The Epic of Gilgamesh, is the oldest known piece of human literature. Other innovations included a calendar, metal tools, and the wheel, which made agriculture and trade much easier.

12 The Impact of Writing The development of writing affected all parts of Sumerian life. Farmers could record which crops they grew each year. They could write down plans for future planting.

13 The Impact of Writing Merchants were able to keep detailed records of their trades. Laws could be put in writing and people in different areas would all know the same rules.

14 The Impact of Writing Reading and writing cuneiform was difficult.
Children had to go to school to learn it. Schools were usually located in temples.

15 The Impact of Writing The Sumerians used cuneiform writing in almost every part of their daily lives. Because of that, we know a lot about who the Sumerians were and how they lived.

16 The Epic of Gilgamesh Video- The Epic of Gilgamesh

17 The Epic of Gilgamesh Some stories from Mesopotamia survive today.
The Epic of Gilgamesh legend was originally an oral story. Spoken aloud by storytellers, it was passed along from generation to generation.

18 The Epic of Gilgamesh An epic is usually about gods and heroes doing great deeds. The Epic of Gilgamesh is believed to be the earliest surviving piece of literature.

19 The Epic of Gilgamesh The story tells about the life of Gilgamesh. It follows his change from a cruel king to a strong and respected leader.

20 Key Term Epic- A long poem or story usually about gods and heroes doing great deeds.

21 Gilgamesh Reading Handout- Gilgamesh

22 Mesopotamian Innovations
The development of a calendar helped farmers know when to plant their crops, and metal tools like the plow made farming easier. The invention of the wheel simplified travel and trade, which allowed Mesopotamian culture to spread throughout the region.

23 Key Ideas- Hammurabi’s Code of Law
The code had no parts about religion. The code established the idea that punishment should fit the crime. Today, this is known as “an eye for an eye.” Rulers and judges could be punished for making unfair decisions. The code was very clear about its protections for the weak, poor, and others who could not help themselves.

24 Code of Law Hammurabi was a Babylonian king who ruled in the 1700s BCE. Hammurabi devised a legal code that created a consistent code of conduct for citizens and judges alike, setting clear guidelines for how lawbreakers would be punished.

25 Code of Law The code specifically called for the protection of the poor and helpless, such as widows and orphans. This code of law formed the foundation of the legal systems in Western civilization.

26 Key Term Hammurabi - Ruler of the first dynasty of Babylon famous mainly because of the laws he set down known as the Code of Hammurabi.

27 Key Term Code of Hammurabi - A set of laws established by Hammurabi that covered several areas of law, including economic law, family law, criminal law, and civil law.

28 Independent Activity What has been the “muddiest” point so far in this lesson? That is, what topic remains the least clear to you? (4 minutes)

29 Partner Activity Work with a neighbor and compare your muddiest point with theirs. Compare what things are the same and what things are different? (3 minutes)

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