Ancient Mesopotamia: Cradle of Civilization

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1 Ancient Mesopotamia: Cradle of Civilization Geography of Mesopotamia The crossroads of the World Samaria: the First City-state A Blending of Cultures

2 Geography

3 The Land Between Two Rivers. Like Egypt, The Mesopotamia region is dependent upon the floods of the rivers for fertile silt coughed up throughout the year. Unlike Egypt, the floods of the Tigris/ Euphrates region are unpredictable. Also, While the Egyptians were protected by natural barriers, Mesopotamia had no such protection. So the different peoples were subject to frequent migrations and invasions.

4 Assyria, Akkad, & Sumer The region was dominated by three Nation City- States, Assyria, Akkad, and Sumer. The creators of the first civilization in the area were the Sumerians.

5 Earliest evidence of the Sumerians is around 3000 B.C.E. W/ the founding of the cities of Eridu, Ur, & Uruk. As these cities grew to have more economic and political control over the country side, they formed City-States. The Sumerians

6 The City-State. The City-State was the earliest form of government. Usually it had a King at the head of a Monarchy. A City-State forms when a town or city and the areas that surround it cooperate for economic support and mutual defense.

7 Sumerian Religion Leader is the Priest/King Most important building is the Ziggurat. Sumerians were polytheistic, many believed a council of gods ruled the earth

8 Religion They believed that their gods spent their time causing problems for humans. The afterlife was a deep dark cave where people wondered around.

9 Written Languages As Sumerian society becomes more complex, the need to be able to write things down became important B.C.E. the Sumerians developed a wedge shape system called cuneiform. Priest and rulers were increasingly dependent on men who could write and understand the cuneiform called scribes.

10 Women, Education, &Social Classes Women were considered property to their Fathers, and later to their husbands. Very few rights. They were responsible for having children and raising boys until they are eight years old. When their formal training began. Girls were tutored at home. Social Classes were established at birth with little opportunity to advance

11 Empires of Mesopotamia 2350 B.C.E. as Sumerian power weakened, an Akkadian warrior named Sargon, created the first Empire. An Empire is a large political state that controls many different peoples and lands. Empires are easy to create and very difficult to control. The Akkadians were called Semitic because they spoke a Semitic language.

12 Akkadian Empire The Akkadians used much of what the Sumerians had developed B.C.E.= After Sargon, weak rulers were not able to keep the empire united. Civil war breaks out B.C.E.= leadership would come from the small city-state of Babylon in southern Akkad. The leaders name is Hammurabi.

13 Code of Hammurabi The great legacy of the early Babylonian Empire was Hammurabi s Code. Hammurabi was truly one of the great rulers of ancient times. While he showed great concern for the welfare of his people, he believed in strict discipline. The basic principle behind his laws was, An eye for an eye

14 Importance of the Code Distinguished between major and minor offences Established the STATE as the authority that would enforce the law. Attempted to ensure Social Justice

15 Beginning of the Iron Age The Babylonians fell in 1600 B.C.E. To the Kassites and they fell to the Hittites around 1559 B.C.E. The Hittites were successful invaders because of : Careful Strategy Skillful Diplomacy Superior Weapons

16 They were the first people to discover that higher heat allowed them the soften iron so that it could be pounded into swords, spears, and battle axes. The Hittites were able to keep their metalwork a secret for about 400 years B.C.E. the Hittites would fall to the Assyrians The Hittites

17 The Assyrians B.C.E. They were the most feared and the most hated! They depended on: A Disciplined Army Iron weapons A Well Trained cavalry Effective Siege equipment

18 Assyrians built their capital at Nineveh with taxes and loot collected from conquered peoples. The Assyrian King Assurbanipal built a great library at Nineveh. They organized and preserved 2000 clay tablets in the worlds first library. In 612 BCE, oppressed people within the empire joined forces with the Medes and Chaldeans to capture and destroy Nineveh and the Assyrian Empire. Assyrian Empire

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