2The Twin RiversAround 5000 BC migrants began to settle in the Fertile Crescent, which included parts of modern Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and SyriaMany settled in Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates RiversStrong floods meant Mesopotamian villages cooperated to build dams, escape channels, canals, and ditchesCooperation set up government institutions to carry out projects. Leaders/followers arose.
4The Sumerian Civilization Around 3500 BC a people called the Sumerians arrived in Mesopotamia and built what historians consider the world’s first city-states.Each city-state usually governed itself independently and selected a military leader to serve as king and high priest.There were twelve city-states, which included Babylon and Ur.
5CuneiformSumerians developed a system of writing, cuneiform, so that they could keep accounts and prepare documents relating to commerce and trade.
6ZigguratSumerians practiced a polytheistic religion and pictured their gods and goddesses as unpredictable, selfish beings with little regard for human beings.Believed that if they angered the deities, they would bring misfortunes -performed ceremonies to please the gods.Ziggurats were temples where at the top was a shrine dedicated to the city-state’s god.Only priests were allowed to enter the shrine.A famous ziggurat written about in the Bible is the Tower of Babel, in which God confused the languages of the people.
7InventionsHistorians credit the Sumerians with numerous technological inventions, including the wagon wheel, the arch, the plow, the sundial, and bronze.Calendar, number system, acre
8First Mesopotamian Empires The twelve city-states of Sumer eventually united under Sargon I and the Akkadians as the first empire.During Sargon’s rule, the Akkadians and Sumerians adopted aspects of each other’s culture -Cultural Diffusion
9The AmoritesThe Amorites, a Semitic people from western Syria, overran many Sumerian centers and founded a dynasty in Babylon ruled by Hammurabi.
10HammurabiHammurabi eventually brought the entire region under his control, organizing a strong government and increasing the prosperity of his people.Made Babylon a major trade center.
11Code of HammurabiHistorians consider Hammurabi’s greatest achievement to be his written law code, which assigned a specific punishment for each violation.Crimes against people or property became the concern of the whole community.Different social classes had different punishments.Eye for an EyeThe development of written law was a major advance toward justice and order.
12Sumer has been conquered and reconquered throughout its history No natural boundariesIts wealth attracted invadersCities could not unite to defend against outside invaders