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"the land between the rivers"

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1 "the land between the rivers"
Mesopotamia "the land between the rivers"

2 Mesopotamia Civilization between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers.
Mesopotamia was part of the Fertile Crescent: An area of land that stretched from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea in what is now Syria, northern Iraq, and Turkey. Rivers flooded at least once a year leaving a thick bed of mud where farmers could plant grain.


4 Cultural Diffusion The process in which a new idea or a product spreads from one culture to another. Sumerians exchanged products and ideas with neighboring cultures.

5 Natural Resources Abundant supply of water from the rivers.
Natural supply of food: fish, wildfowl, and dates from the date palm tree. Soil: used for both growing crops and making bricks and pottery.

6 Environmental Challenges
Unpredictable flooding, little or no rain. Irrigation method. No natural barriers for protection. For defense, they built city walls with mud bricks. Building materials were scarce. Traded their surplus of food with neighboring cultures for building supplies.

7 3500 B.C. to 530 B.C. At least seven different groups of people ruled the Mesopotamian Valley. Most important were the Sumerians and the Babylonians.

8 Sumerians

9 Sumerians Create City-States
One of the first groups of people to form a civilization. Sumer was different from all other earlier civilizations because of the following characteristics: Advanced cities Specialized workers Complex institutions Record keeping Advanced technology

10 Advanced Sumerian Cities
Food Surplus Increased Population Expanded Trade Expansion of Sumerian Society

11 Specialized Workers in Sumer
Farmers Potters Government Leaders Religious Leaders Builders Scribes

12 Complex Sumerian Institutions
Government Religion Organized set of laws. Government ruled from a central place, such as a city, a palace, or a temple. Sumerian civilization was organized into 12 separate units called city-states. Each city state ruled the city and its surrounding farmland. Each city-state belonged to a god or goddess that owned the land and controlled the yearly floods. Each city-state built a ziggurat, or temple, to honor its god or goddess. Sumerians believed that the gods and goddesses controlled everything that happened in their lives.

13 Ziggurat. . . Made of sun-baked clay. Pyramid-shaped.
Largest building, usually located in the center of the city.

14 Religious Leaders. . . Very powerful.
They controlled the land, collected and stored the crops, and owned large herds of sheep and cattle.

15 Kings. . . Powerful role of the king developed because of disagreements between city-states. King was the military leader for the city-states.

16 Sumerian Record Keeping
Developed the first system of writing that was more than just pictures. Cuneiform: Wedge-shaped cuneiform symbols were made with a reed, called a stylus, pressed on wet clay tablets. The tablets were them baked in the sun or over fire until they were hard. Also wrote about wars, natural disasters, the reign of kings. . . Beginning of written history!!


18 Advanced Sumerian Technology
Wagon wheel Potter’s wheel (shape containers) Number system 12 month calendar Metal plow Sail Some of the earliest known maps New architecture

19 From the Sumerians to the Babylonians
Invaders took over the Sumerian lands and created new civilizations, borrowing much from the Sumerians. Around 2000 B.C. new invaders established Babylon as the center of their rule. By 1700 B.C. Babylon ruled most of Mesopotamia. The Babylonians did not complete destroy the Sumerian culture, they adopted much of it. Babylonian scribes wrote volumes of new texts using the Sumerian cuneiform. They even recopied Sumerian texts. First to use algebra and geometry.

20 Soldiers, priest of high order, and landowners
Babylonian Society Society was well organized. Soldiers, priest of high order, and landowners Craftspeople, traders, and farmers Poor people and slaves

21 Hammurabi Came to power in 1792 B.C.
Wanted to promote justice, destroy wicked people, and protect weak people from strong people. Hammurabi had 282 laws written on clay tablets. These laws are called the Code of Hammurabi and were displayed throughout Babylon. People understood the laws and what would happen if they failed to obey the laws. Hammurabi was the first ruler to organize laws into a complete system.

22 Code of Hammurabi

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