The Fertile Crescent

The Fertile Crescent
- Explain how Mesopotamian civilization began
and grew.
- Explain and describe where one of the first
civilizations arose.
- Describe the early agricultural techniques of
- Explain what an economic surplus is.
- Explain why people settled in Mesopotamia.
Where Civilization Began
Civilizations are groups of people who
have a complex and organized society
within a culture.
– The first civilization began around 3500 B.C.
– Each civilization has its own customs, food
supply, social divisions, government, religion,
and technology.
Civilization first developed in a crescent
shaped area.
The Fertile Crescent
The region stretched from Mediterranean Sea to
the Persian Gulf.
 It was the land between the Tigris and the
Euphrates River.
The Fertile Crescent Today
Today, the land of the Fertile Crescent is part of the
countries of Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel.
The Land of the Fertile Crescent
The Land of the Fertile Crescent
The Land of the Fertile Crescent
The forests of the fertile crescent provided
a home for animals such as deer, sheep,
and goats.
 The grassland provided homes for wild
pigs, oxen, and lions.
 In the central area was a plain, or flat
area of land, bordered by the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers.
– This area was known as Mesopotamia.
 This means, “land between two rivers.”
Climate and Rivers
The climate was not ideal for farming.
 Summers were long, hot, and dry with
temperatures reaching 120°F.
 Rainfall is inconsistent.
 Because rainfall was inconsistent, the people
had to figure out a way to get the water to their
– Irrigation – a system that helped people control
when and where to water their crops.
 Trenches and ditches brought water from the river to
the fields.
The People
The people of Mesopotamia were problem
– They made irrigation systems.
– They made bricks out of mud, clay, and straw.
 They then dried the bricks with the sun.
 People used these bricks to build homes, temples,
and palaces.
– People worked as farmers and herders.
Growth of City – States and Trade
Once farming improved, people had time to
build their villages.
– Families and population began to grow.
Several villages included Uruk, Kish, Lagash,
Nippur, Umma, and Ur.
 These villages eventually became city-states.
 A city-state is a city that is an individual unit,
complete with its own form of government and
 Some of the people were artisans, or
– They were potters and weavers.
Some people also became traders.
– This helped them get the natural resources they
Time to Review
Where did the first civilizations arise?
 What was the effect of the low rainfall in
 What caused city-states to be established?
 How did the Mesopotamian farmers use
the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers to solve
the problem of low rainfall?
 How did Mesopotamian people get the
natural resources they needed?