The Fertile Crescent Objective: - Explain how Mesopotamian civilization began and grew. - Explain and describe where one of the first civilizations arose. - Describe the early agricultural techniques of Mesopotamia. - 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 crops. – 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. Irrigation The People The people of Mesopotamia were problem solvers. – 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 traditions. Some of the people were artisans, or craftspeople. – They were potters and weavers. Some people also became traders. – This helped them get the natural resources they needed. Time to Review Where did the first civilizations arise? What was the effect of the low rainfall in Mesopotamia? 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?