Chapter 3 Study Guide Key

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Hour _____
World History Study Guide
Chapter 3 – Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent
Test date _____________________________
**Remember, Chapter Packets are due on the Test Date!***
 Fertile Crescent – a large area of rich, fertile land stretching extending from the Persian Gulf to
Mediterranean Sea
Irrigation – Way of supplying water to an area of land
Canals – human-made waterways
Surplus – more than is needed
Division of Labor – each worker specializes in a particular task or job
City-state – Political unit that consisted of a city and all the countryside around it
Empire – land with different territories and peoples under a single rule
Polytheism - worship of many gods
Priests – people who performed religious ceremonies and had great status in society, right under kings
Social hierarchy – the division of society by rank or class
Cuneiform - world’s first system of writing
Scribe - writer who would be hired to keep track of what people traded
Ziggurat – pyramid-shaped temple tower that was at the center of cities
Monarch – ruler of a kingdom or empire
Hammurabi’s Code - set of 282 laws that dealt with almost every part of daily life
People to know
 Sumerians – advanced culture that developed in southern Mesopotamia and developed 1 st civilization
Sargon - Ruler who sought to extend the Akkadian Empire and was first ruler with a permanent army
Gilgamesh - One of Uruk’s kings that became a legendary figure in Sumerian literature
Hammurabi - brilliant war leader and monarch who created the first code of laws
Which two land features gave Mesopotamia its name?
Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
2. Describes cuneiform.
The first system of writing that used wedge-shaped symbols on clay tablets.
3. Who/what served as a link between the Sumerians and the gods?
4. What was the most likely reason that ziggurats were tall?
They believed that the taller the ziggurat the closer they were to the Gods and the more
pleased they would become, bringing good fortune.
5. Crops grew well in Mesopotamia because…
Of fertile soil, irrigation, canals, and geographical location between two rivers (water source)
6. Scribes had power in Sumerian society. What can you conclude from this?
Since not everyone in Sumerian society could read and write, the scribes were very important
and were very valuable to maintaining records
7. What are the 5 elements that make up a civilization? Describe them.
1. Stable Food Supply – Irrigation led to civilizations having this (surplus of crops – wheat, barley,
dates, cattle & fish)
2. Division of Labor – Specialization was caused by surplus of food, allowing people to not just
concentrate on farming (government workers, priests, scribes, slaves, farmers)
3. System of Government – Focuses on creating laws to provide organization (city-states were ruled by
a monarch, or a king)
4. Social Hierarchy – Put society in order based upon occupation
5. Highly-developed culture – examples include religion, art and technology (polytheism)
Additional Skills on the Test:
Timeline Reading
Map Reading