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The First Civilizations Chapter 3, Part 1 Mrs. Thompson

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1 The First Civilizations Chapter 3, Part 1 Mrs. Thompson
8th Grade World History

2 Mesopotamians

3 Mesopotamian Civilization Main Ideas: Began in the valleys
of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. “Land between two rivers”


5 Ancient Mesopotamia

6 Organized governments Art Religion Class divisions Writing
Over thousands of years, some of the early farming villages developed in complex societies called civilizations CIVILIZATIONS INCLUDE: Cities Organized governments Art Religion Class divisions Writing


8 Mesopotamian Civilization
What is civilization? a complex society with cities, an organized government, art, religion, a system of writing, and class divisions

9 Why Were River Valleys Important?
The 1st civilizations arose in river valleys because: 1. Good farming conditions made it easy to feed large numbers of people. 2. Rivers also made it easy to get from one place to another and trade.

10 Why Were River Valleys Important?
Trade provided a way for goods and idea to move from place to place. The growth of cities led to the need for organization and the formation of governments.

11 Leaders took charge of:
Organizing food supplies Building projects Assembling armies Making laws to keep order People in river valleys began to: Develop religion and the arts Invent ways of writing to pass on information Create calendars to keep track of planting seasons

12 The Rise of Sumer The earliest known civilization arose in the Tigris and Euphrates River Valley. The area was called Mesopotamia and it was located where southern Iraq is today.

13 Mesopotamia Mesopotamia is Greek for “the land between the rivers.”
The area between the Tigris and Euphrates is also called the Fertile Crescent because it is a curving strip of land that extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf

14 The Ancient Fertile Crescent Area
The Middle East: “The Cradle of Civilization”

15 Mesopotamia Mesopotamia had a hot, dry climate and depended on the flooding of the rivers to provide water for farming. The flooding was very unpredictable, so the farmers believed they needed gods to help them. Eventually farmers learned to build dams and channels for irrigation to water their crops.

16 Try your luck at being a farmer in ancient Mesopotamia!!

17 Mesopotamian Civilization
What effect did irrigation have on the people of Mesopotamia? Irrigation allowed farmers to grow plenty of food. More food meant more people could be fed, so the population grew.

18 Sumerians By 3000 B.C. many cities had formed in Mesopotamia in a region called Sumer

19 What were City-States? Sumerian cities were isolated from each other by geography and each had their own government. Sometimes the cities of Sumer went to war with one another.

20 What were City-States? Sumerians built walls around their cities from river mud mixed with crushed reeds to form sun-dried bricks. They also built homes, temples, and public buildings from sun-dried bricks. Ziggurat

21 Sumerian Religion – Polytheistic or belief in many gods or “deities”
Gods and Rulers Sumerian Religion – Polytheistic or belief in many gods or “deities” Innana Enki

22 The Annunaki

23 The Annunaki

24 Gods and Rulers Sumerians believed in many gods, each thought to have power over a natural force or human activity. This is called polythetheism For example: flooding To please their gods, Sumerians built grand temples called ziggurats to the chief god.

25 Ziggurat at Ur Temple “Mountain of the Gods”
Ziggurat means “mountain of gold” or “hill of heaven.”

26 At the top of the ziggurat was a shrine where priests and priestesses could enter and pray to the gods. Priests and priestesses were powerful, controlled much of the land, and may have been rulers. Religion

27 Eventually, war-hero kings took control of the government and made their position hereditary.
Hereditary means that the oldest male inherits the right to rule. Sumerian kings lived in large palaces while the ordinary people lived in small mud-brick houses. Sumer

28 Mesopotamian City-State

29 What to do in Sumer? Most people in Sumer farmed but some were artisans who made metal products, cloth, or pottery. Sumerian traders and merchants traded tools, wheat, and barley to other cities in exchange for copper, tin, and timber.

30 Mesopotamian Harp

31 Sophisticated Metallurgy Skills in Mesopotamia

32 Board Game From Ur

33 Society People in Sumer were divided into 3 social classes:
The upper class included kings, priests, and government officials. The middle class included artisans, merchants, farmers, and fishers. It was the largest group. The lower class included enslaved people who worked on farms or in the temples.

34 1. Prisoners of war 2. Criminals 3. Debtors Society
Enslaved people were forced to serve others and were thought of as property. People who were slaves usually were: 1. Prisoners of war 2. Criminals 3. Debtors

35 Only men attended school and they headed households.
Society In Sumer, men and women had separate roles: Only men attended school and they headed households. Women had rights, could buy and sell property, and could run businesses.

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