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City States of Ancient Sumer

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1 City States of Ancient Sumer
Chapter 2 Section 3

2 The Fertile Crescent Sumer arises in the rich lands of the Fertile Crescent, along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia Mesopotamia- means “Between Two Rivers” in Greek

3 Floods and Irrigation The Tigris and the Euphrates frequently flooded
Like the Nile, this deposited silt for great crop land Would often destroy the Sumerian’s mud-brick villages The people had to work together to control the river and survive

4 Cities and Ziggurats Ancient Sumer was made up of independent City-States, similar to Greece, who battled for control of the lands and water The Cities were rectangular with high, wide walls using mud-bricks Ziggurats were the largest buildings, Pyramid temples that held a shrine to the god or goddess of the city at its top.

5 Trade and Movement Sumerians depended on trade for wealth
Traded with far-away civilizations like Egypt and India Created the first wheeled vehicles to carry trade goods

6 Cuneiform Oldest form of writing in the world, developed in 3200 BC
Name means “wedge-shaped” Pictographic language written in clay with a reed Stylus Eventually evolves into a symbolic language instead of pictographic Used to record Harvest, Prayers, Laws, and Contracts

7 City Life and Government
Each City turned to war leaders who were strong enough to stand up to other city states, maintain city walls and irrigation systems, and lead their armies Eventually became hereditary leaders, a “ruling family” like Great Britain today

8 City Life and Government
Each City had it’s own Hierarchy or system of ranks The Highest class: Ruling Family, Leading officials, and High Priests The Middle Class: Merchants, Artisans, and Lesser Priests and Scribes The Lowest Class: Peasant farmers

9 Women in Sumer Generally high status
“Pay heed to the word of your mother as though it was the word of God” – Ancient Sumerian Proverb Wife of the king sometimes ruled while he was away One female tavern owner rose to become a ruler herself in the city-state of Kish As time goes on women become more dependent on men Still keep their rights, women could trade, borrow and loan money, and own property

10 Sumerian Religion Polytheistic
People believed the Gods behaved like humans Eating, drinking, married, raised families Gods were much more destructive and unpredictable Each City-State had it’s own God that represented it and the whole city would worship it. View on the afterlife was very dark Floods of the Tigris and Euphrates were MUCH more infrequent and destructive than the Nile, so they develop a more violent and negative view.

11 Advances in Learning Developed basic algebra and geometry
Based their number system on sixes Divided hour into 60 minutes Divided circle into 360 degrees Still used in time and geometry today

12 Farming, Weaving, and special jobs Trading with other Nations
Egypt Sumer Geography Sandy hills, plains, nile river, and fertile soil, barren deserts, delta Fertile crescent, desert, Tigris and Euphrates rivers,  and the Persian Gulf Religion Polytheistic Believed in a good afterlife Pharaohs were treated as Gods on Earth Polytheistic Controlled all aspects of life especially forces of nature Had a dark view of the afterlife, unlike the Egyptians Economy Farming, Weaving, and special jobs Trading with other Nations Trade brought riches to the city-states Barter Economy Government Pharaohs ruled every aspect of Egyptian life Used Vizier to advise Pharaoh Independent city-states War leaders led people and maintained cities Hereditary Rule Social Structure Pharaohs ruled, priests served gods, and nobles fought wars, peasants farmed Ruling family / High Priests Merchants Peasants Achievements Build the Pyramids, Invented calendars,  Hieroglyphics, Trade Cuneiform writing, Wheeled vehicles, Coins, Alphabet, Iron working, mathematics

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