Target 4: Mesopotamia I can discuss the reasons how became the place where civilization began. Part 1 THE DEVELOPMENT OF CITY-STATES Problem 1 – Food Supply The early humans are living in the foothills of the Zagros Mountains. Their population is growing too big, too fast. They can not produce enough food to feed the entire population. So what is the solution? They decide that they are going to move south in the plains. There is more land but the land is going to be harder to farm. Problem 2 – Uncontrollable Water Supply After moving to plains, early humans start to farm. But they realize that getting water to irrigate their crops is a problem. If it rains too much, their crops will be flooded from the overflow of the two rivers. If it rains too little, all their crops will dry up. So what is the solution? They decide to create a basic irrigation system. With the irrigation system, they are able to give their crops enough water without killing them. Problem 3 – Maintaining the Irrigation System After creating the irrigation system, it starts to break down frequently. Communities are continuously sending people to fix it and to unclog it. So what is the solution? Villages starting working together. As they started working together to maintain the irrigation system, bigger communities were starting to form. Problem 4 – Attacks Neighboring Communities Now that communities had complex irrigation systems, other communities became jealous. Communities who wanted the irrigation system needed it for their food. So what is the solution? They built walls around their city to protect themselves from the invaders. The walls were massive. This is how the first city-state was created. City-States • Mesopotamia was made of several city-states. • City-states were small, independent countries. They each had their own ruler and provided food for its own people. Part 2 ACHIEVEMENTS OF SUMERIAN CULTURE 7 Characteristics of a Civilization • • • • • • • Stable Food Supply Social Structure Government Religion The Arts Technology Writing Stable Food Supply Irrigation Systems • Able to control the water supply even during the dry months of the summer. The Plow • Allowed farmers to cultivate larger areas of land quicker Social Structure Social Structure – a social class system There were three social classes in Sumer: Upper class (Priests, landowners, and government officials) Common Class (merchants, craftspeople, farmers, fisherman) Slaves Government City-States/Kings • Kings were “chosen by the Gods” Organized Armies • Well organized, killing machines. They had chariot riders as well as infantry. Written Laws • Included laws and punishments Religion Devotional Statues • Used to express religious beliefs Ziggurat • Temple to worship their Gods. Central focal point of the citystate. The Arts Games • Played for entertainment to get good luck Medicine • Used natural healing techniques and surgery to cure diseases. Music • Used a lyre to praise the Gods. Technology Arch • Added strength and beauty to Sumerian Architecture Mathematics • Figured out how much to tax based on how many crops they were predicted to have Metalworking • Used bronze for a variety of weapons Sailboat • Allowed to travel and trade by water easier. Wheel • Allowed them to travel and trade by land easier Writing Cuneiform • The first written language. This helped them with exchanging of goods and keeping track of trades.