Presentation on theme: "Mesopotamian Geographic Region (4000-1000 BCE) –The West’s first large- scale civilization –Government Monarchy/priest-king Cities containing large public."— Presentation transcript:
Mesopotamian Geographic Region (4000-1000 BCE) –The West’s first large- scale civilization –Government Monarchy/priest-king Cities containing large public buildings Crop diversification and diverse crafts Organized central governments Writing Influenced all the later culture groups that conquered the region.
Religion and Mythology Polytheistic religious belief reflected harshness of war and struggle with unpredictable environment War-like gods who possessed total control over human lives Sacrifices, rituals, temples (ziggurats) Power of priests and priestesses
Sumerian City-States (4000-2300 BCE) –Located on the Mesopotamian plain, close to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers –Earliest cities in southern Mesopotamia –Not unified under one leader, made up of several city-states –Constantly at war with one another over resources –Common language, culture, religion –Agriculture and trade (as far away as India)
Epic of Gilgamesh ancient poem written in Mesopotamia more than four thousand years ago. tells of a great flood that covered the earth similar to the story of Noah in the Old Testament of the Jewish and Christian holy books. Modern science has discovered that there was a marked increase in the sea levels about 6,000 years ago as the last ice age ended. The melting ice drained to the oceans causing the sea level to rise more than ten feet in one century.
Sumerian Contributions Cuneiform-earliest written language Wheel Plow Sailboat Mathematical system astronomy
Akkadian Empire (2330-2100 BCE) –Semitic people who migrated from the Arabian Peninsula –Conquered the Sumerians –Central city of Akkad, later to become Babylon –World’s first empire –Located on the banks of the Euphrates –Sargon the Great conquered Sumerian cities and territories westward to the Mediterranean, in part to ensure metal supplies –Akkadian-common language –Sumerian- only for religious purposes –Destroyed by invading Gutians during reign of Sargon’s grandson
Babylonia Empire (1800-1500 BCE) Babylon located on the banks of the Euphrates River Hammurabi was the sixth king Important trade center Code of Hammurabi
–282 Laws that formed the basis of the Babylonian legal system –One of the earliest known written laws –King’s responsibility to maintain order and justice –Basis of international commercial law: regulated contracts, interest, mortgages, etc. –Criminal penalties harsh and reflective of social hierarchy –Carved into a stela, (stone pillar) and kept in a special temple
Assyrian Empire (1100-612 BCE) –Assur, city on the Tigris River originally under Babylonian rule –Over two centuries, fought to expand their control –Lower Mesopotamia, Persia, Syria, Sinai Peninsula and along the SE coast of Med. Sea into Egypt –controlled trade between Anatolia and Mesopotamia –Ruled with a combination of highly centralized government headed by royal appointed governors and terror –Advanced weapons (seige engine) –Built a fine library (literature, math, science) –Encouraged private enterprise rather than state monopoly –Overthrown by Chaldeans
Chaldean Empire Neo-Babylonian (612-539 BCE) Another name for Babylonia Took control of the city of Babylon through bloody battles cruel rule over those they conquered King Nebuchadnezzar conquered Canaan & enslaved the Israelites Marched them to Babylon as slaves Hanging Gardens terraces rising to the palace roof irrigated by pumps Astronomy-created manuals for later civilizations Timekeeping-divided the day into 12 double hours 7 day week division of the hour into sixty minutes
Persian Empire (550-333 BCE) Originated on the plateau east of Zagros Mtns Indo Aryran After being conquered by others, Cyrus the Great, a great Persian general, organized the military and conquered the Mesopotamian region Tolerant rulers who respected different religions, languages and customs Divided into provinces and constructed roads