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Aim: Was the ancient Middle East the cradle of civilization? Do Now: What is going on with these statues?? NY State Standards 2, 3 Common Core Standards.

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Presentation on theme: "Aim: Was the ancient Middle East the cradle of civilization? Do Now: What is going on with these statues?? NY State Standards 2, 3 Common Core Standards."— Presentation transcript:

1 Aim: Was the ancient Middle East the cradle of civilization? Do Now: What is going on with these statues?? NY State Standards 2, 3 Common Core Standards RS 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, WS 1, 2

2 A)Mesopotamia is the land between two rivers; the Tigris and Euphrates (in modern Iraq). B)Mesopotamia is often called the Fertile Crescent due to its rich soil. C)Like the Nile, these rivers flood yearly, and the people dug irrigation canals to farm. *Unlike the Nile, their floods are less predictable. This caused the people of Mesopotamia to fear their gods. I Geography of Mesopotamia Farmland by the Tigris River, Iraq 2014

3 II Mesopotamian Government A) Sumer was the first Mesopotamian civilization. Sumer was a collection of city- states, each ruled by a King. Like Egypt, Sumerian city-states developed a bureaucracy. Different government officials regulated taxes, irrigation, public works, etc… B) In the center of each city-state was the ziggurat (temple). All of the buildings were built of sun-baked mud brick. Each city-state was surrounded by a protective city wall. A city-state is a city that governs itself.

4 Mesopotamian Government Continued… C) In 2300 BCE King Sargon of Akkad attacked Sumer. He created the Akkadian Empire, one of the first empires in the world. After his death, his empire quickly fell apart. An empire is a group of states that is under the control of a single authority. Unlike individually ruled city-states, an empire has a centralized government.

5 Mesopotamian Government Continued… D) In 1790 BCE Hammurabi, King of Babylon, conquered most of Mesopotamia. He created the Code of Hammurabi; the world’s first known written law code. Code of Hammurabi: laws carved into a stone pillar 2. Displayed in public 3. Included civil and criminal laws 4. Punishments were based on your social status and wealth. (The lower your status, the harsher the penalty) Above is a pillar that was inscribed with the Code of Hammurabi. These pillars were placed in public.

6 Mesopotamian Government Continued… E) In 1400 BCE the Hittites (from Asia Minor) settled in Mesopotamia. They brought with them the knowledge of iron working. F) By 1100 BCE the Assyrians conquered Mesopotamia. King Assurbanipal founded one of the world’s first libraries.

7 Mesopotamian Government Continued… G) In 626 BCE King Nebuchadnezzar conquered the Assyrian Empire, and began the Neo-Babylonian Empire… out of… you guessed it… Babylon! 1. He conquered Jerusalem, destroyed the Jewish temple and forced many Jews to come to his empire 2. He rebuilt the city walls of Babylon, including the Ishtar Gate. It is covered in blue tile, with images of lions. 3. He built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon for his wife. A design from the Ishtar Gate

8 Recreation of the Ishtar Gate

9 Recreation of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

10 III Achievements of Mesopotamia A)By 3200 BCE Sumerians invented cuneiform, a true writing system. They marked clay tablets with a stylus (sharp pointed tool). B)Sumerians developed the earliest known number system! C)Like the Egyptians, Sumerians studied astronomy, and created a 12 month calendar. *We still use Sumerian math! -60 degrees in a circle -60 seconds in a minute -60 minutes in an hour Below is a Sumerian star chart

11 Achievements of Mesopotamia Continued… D) The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem about Gilgamesh, a Sumerian King. It is considered to be one of the first great works of literature. It contains a story of a great flood, eerily similar to the story of Noah and the Ark! "I will reveal to you, Gilgamesh, a thing that is hidden, a secret of the gods… a city that you surely know, situated on the banks of the Euphrates.. The hearts of the Great Gods moved them to inflict the Flood…Tear down the house and build a boat! Abandon wealth and seek living beings! Spurn possessions and keep alive living beings! Make all living beings go up into the boat.”

12 V Religion in Mesopotamia A) Mesopotamian religion was polytheistic. Unlike Egypt, Mesopotamians believed the afterlife was misery. This was because the flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates was not very predictable, which is why they believed their gods were unhappy. B) Priests performed ceremonies on top of ziggurats. C) Abraham began the monotheistic religion of Judaism in Mesopotamia in 1800 BCE. However, the majority of Mesopotamians remained polytheistic. On the afterlife according to Sumerian beliefs: “The house where one goes in and never comes out again… the place where they live on dust and their food is mud…” – Epic of Gilgamesh One burial chamber in the city-state of Ur contained the bodies of 74 sacrificial victims! The Sumerians were so scared of their gods that the wealthy had statues of themselves built and placed in the ziggurats so that they could “pray” nonstop to please the gods!

13 US Soldiers Climbing the Ziggurat at Ur

14 VI The Persians are coming!

15 The Persians Continued… A) The Persian Empire was founded in 550 BCE by Cyrus the Great. Persians are of Aryan descent. B) Policy of tolerance towards different religions and cultures in their Empire; Cyrus even allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem! C) The Royal Road was built in the 5 th century BCE to allow easier access for their army and postal service! The road was 1677 miles long, and had 111 “post office relay stations”. With this system messages could cross the empire in 7 days! D) The official religion of Persia was Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrians believe God has an evil rival. You must choose between good and evil. E) 331 BCE the Persian Empire was conquered by Alexander the Great! Aryans were Indo- European (“white”) nomads who conquered northern India. Today, most Persians live in Iran and speak Farsi. Can you think of another religion that believes God has an evil rival?

16 The Persians Continued… On the left is a Zoroastrian Fire Temple. On the right is the remains of the Palace of Darius in Persepolis (in modern Iran).

17 Sumerians3200 – 1900 BCE Invented cuneiform writing. Akkadian Empire2300 – 2150 BCE Sargon attacked Sumer and created one of the world’s first empires. Babylonian Empire1790 – 1595 BCE King Hammurabi created the world’s first written law code. Hittites1650 – 1200 BCE Expert iron craftsmen. Assyrian Empire1350 – 609 BCE King Assurbanipal created a world famous library. Neo Babylonian Empire626 – 539 BCE King Nebuchadnezzar built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon for his wife. Persian Empire550 – 331 BCE The Royal Road was 1677 miles in length! Mesopotamian Civilizations Summary

18 Summary Questions 1.How did geography affect ancient Mesopotamian civilizations? 2.List and describe any 4 achievements of the peoples of ancient Mesopotamia, and which civilization for each. 3.Compare and contrast Mesopotamian civilization with ancient Egypt. Which would you have rather have lived in and why?

19 Key Vocabulary Akkadian Empire Aryans Asia Minor Assyrian Empire Babylonian Empire City-States Cuneiform Cyrus the Great Epic of Gilgamesh Euphrates River Fertile Crescent Hammurabi’s Code Hanging Gardens of Babylon Hittites Ishtar Gate King Assurbanipal’s Library King Hammurabi Neo-Babylonian Empire King Nebuchadnezzar King Sargon Mesopotamia Persian Empire Royal Road Satrap Sumerians Tigris River Ziggurat Zoroastrianism


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