1. Define Civilizations. 2. What effect did irrigation have on the people of Mesopotamia? 3. Why did Sumerians study the skies? 4. What were some of the benefits in living in Hammurabi’s empire? What were some of the drawbacks? Achievements of Mesopotamian Civilization How did the 1st Empire form in Mesopotamia? Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Why are these steps important? Over thousands of years, some of the early farming villages developed into civilizations. Civilizations are complex societies with cities, governments, art, religion, class division, and a writing system. The first civilizations arose in river valleys because good farming conditions made it easy to feed large numbers of people. Rivers also made travel and trade easier. Trade provided a way for goods and ideas to move from place to place. As cities took shape, so did the need for organization. Governments were formed because someone had to make plans and decisions for the common good. Leaders took charge of food and building projects. The made laws to keep order and assembled armies to fend off enemies. With fewer worries people spent more time developing religions and art. They invented ways of writing and a calendar to tell time. They also had a class structure where people held different places in society based on the work they did, and how much wealth they had. The earliest-known civilization arose in what is now southern Iraq, on a flat plain bounded by the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. This area was called Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia is Greek for “the land between the rivers.” The climate was hot and dry however in the Spring the rivers often flooded, leaving behind rich soil for farming. The floods were frequent and unpredictable. Farmers learned to control the rivers with dams and channels. They also used the rivers to irrigate, or water, their crops. By 3,000 B.C. many cities had formed in a southern region of Mesopotamia known as Sumer. Sumerian cities were city-states, with their own governments. Sumerian cities often fought each other. To protest themselves, the city-states built walls around themselves. Why would the fight each other? To gain glory and control over more territory. Sumerians believed in many gods. Each city-state had a ziggurat, or grand temple, to honor the gods. Each god was thought to have power over a natural force or a human activity. The ziggurat had tiers like a giant square wedding cake. It dominated the city. At the top was a special place of worship that only priest and priestesses to go. Priest and priestesses were very powerful and controlled much of the land. Later kings ruled the land. 1. 2. 3. Most Sumerians were farmers, but some were artisans, or skilled workers. Others were merchants and traders. Sumerian city-states had three classes. Upper Class: consisted of kings, priests, and government officials. Middle Class: consisted of artisans, merchants, fishers, and farmers. Lower Class: consisted of slaves Roles: Men headed the household. Only males could go to school. Women could buy and sell property, and run businesses. DISCUSSION QUESTION: In your groups turn and talk to answer the following question. What effect did irrigation have on the people of Mesopotamia? Irrigation allowed farmers to grow plenty of food. More food meant more people could be fed so the population grew. Mesopotamia has been called the cradle of civilization because of the influence of Sumerian ideas on other areas. Their greatest invention was probably writing. Writing helps people keep records and pass on ideas. Sumerians developed a writing system called cuneiform. Only a few people, called scribes, learned to write. Scribes held honored positions in society often going on to become judges and political leaders. The Sumerians also produced the oldest knows story, the Epic of Gilgamesh. An epic is a long poem that tells the story of a hero. Gilgamesh was a king who traveled around the world with a friend performing great deeds. When his friend dies he searches for a way to live forever only to figure out that it is only possible for gods to live forever. Mesopotamians’ creativity also extended to technology. They created/invented things such as the wagon wheel, the sailboat, and the plow. They developed many mathematical ideas. They used geometry to measure fields and put up buildings. They created a number system based on 60. We can thank them for our 60 minute hour, 60 second minute, and 360 degree circle. They also recorded the movement of the planets and stars and developed a 12 month calendar based off the cycles of the moon. DISCUSSION QUESTION: In your groups turn and talk to answer the following question. Why did Sumerians study the skies? The locations of the planets and stars guided the Sumerians’ farming and festivals. Sargon, the king of the Akkadians, conquered all of Mesopotamia and set up the world’s first empire. An empire is a group of many different lands under one ruler. Sargon’s empire lasted more than 200 years before falling to invaders. After Sargon, another group of people became powerful. They built the city of Babylon on the Euphrates River. This occurred in the 1800’s B.C. The Babylonian king, Hammurabi, conquered lands north and south of Babylon to create the Babylonian Empire. Hammurabi is bet known for hi law code or collection of laws. The Code of Hammurabi covered crimes, farming, business activities, and marriage and family. Many punishments in the code were cruel, but the code was an important step in the development of a justice system. DISCUSSION QUESTION: In your groups turn and talk to answer the following question. What were some of the benefits in living in Hammurabi’s empire? What were some of the drawbacks? Benefits: Living in a large, powerful empire helps keep enemies from taking over the land; Hammurabi’s code helped keep people from committing crimes against one another. Drawbacks: Hammurabi’s code had cruel punishments; people were governed by one person’ Hammurabi, instead of living in a representative government.