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Presentation on theme: "Mesopotamia."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mesopotamia


3 Between the Rivers Geography Promotes civilization

4 Geography??? Farming began in southern Mesopotamia in 5500 BC
Flat, swampy region The Tigris and Euphrates rivers often flooded during the spring The floods left a very fertile mud, called silt – this made the soil very rich

5 Geographic Challenges
Little rain Water from rainfall and snowmelt Rivers overflow without warning Rivers dry up

6 Methods of Controlling Water
developed methods to control water (i.e., basins, canals, dikes) projects required organization!!! complex government formed

7 Sumer: The Cities of Sumer
First civilization 3,000 BC mud brick buildings Temples in the center ziggurats rose to the sky Walls surrounded the city city-state - a political unit with its own government

8 Sumer: Religion and Government
polytheistic The gods controlled nature Each City-State had their own personal god Enlil Rain Storm The City’s Center

9 Sumerian priests Priests held high status and governed the city-states
City-states battled for dominance War chiefs began to rule as kings Many of the city-states’ kings formed dynasties A dynasty is a series of rulers from one family

10 Sumerian Culture: Writing
Cuneiform – Sumerian writing Wedge-shaped symbols on clay tablets first used to keep business accounts and other records Epic of Gilgamesh Scribes created written documents – this required years of schooling, but allowed one to move up in social class

11 Sumer: Scientific advancement
The Wheel The Plow Used bronze to make stronger weapons Medical knowledge, and performed basic surgeries

12 Sumer: The Arts Sumerian architecture: arches, ramps, and columns
Sumerian Sculpture: statues with large, wide-open eyes, as well as small objects carved out of ivory cylinder seals

13 Empires in Mesopotamia
Frequent warfare weakened Sumer’s city-states. Each new invader adapted parts of Sumerian culture into its own society

14 Sargon’s Akkadian Empire
2330 BCE Sargon I – first to create a permanent army Conquered all of Sumer and northern Mesopotamia Akkad was the world’s first empire

15 Continued… Used cuneiform as the main language for religion and literature Kept the power of the priesthood Empire lasted for 140 years spread Sumerian culture Tribes from the east invaded and captured Akkad

16 The Babylonian Empire The Amorites settled in Babylon on the Eurphrates, near modern Baghdad, Iraq Hammurabi became king of Babylon in 1792 BCE He was a great warrior and UNITED all of Mesopotamia in what is known as the Babylonian Empire

17 Hammurabi Great administrator Managed buildings and projects
Improved the tax collection system Increased trade Honored old Sumerian gods Allowed priests to retain their power Schools continued to teach the Sumerian language and cuneiform writing

18 Hammurabi’s Code Code of laws
282 laws dealing with everything from trade and theft to injury and murder

19 Decline of Babylon After Hammurabi’s death, Babylonian power declined
Less than 200 years later, the empire had fallen

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