WARM UP - Images



 What one thing is necessary for a city to arise?

 Fertile Crescent

 City-state

 Dynasty

 Cultural diffusion

 Polytheism

 Cuneiform



River Valley Civilizations

 All early river civilizations are located in River Valleys

 “Mesopotamia” means land between rivers


 Located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

 Rivers flooded

Mesopotamia at least once a year creating fertile soil called Silt

 Area was known as “The

Fertile Crescent”

 Existed from about


Environmental Disadvantages

 Land almost a desert because of unpredictable floods and little to no rain

 No natural barriers for protection

 Natural resources were limited, specifically building materials

Problems Solved

Irrigation ditches to carry water from rivers to fields

Built city walls with mud bricks

 Traded goods with people of mountains and desserts for raw materials (stone, wood, metal)

 Cultural diffusion-Spread of ideas or products from one culture to another

Advanced Cities

Early Mesopotamia developed as city-states

 Each city shared the same culture but had its own government and rulers

 City States often fought one another

 Ur was most significant

Sargon of Akkad united all of the city states and created the first empire

 Empire brings peoples, nations or states under the control of one ruler

Babylonian Empire

 2000 B.C. nomadic warriors known as

Amorites invade the region

 Take control of Sumer

 Create capital on the

Euphrates River, called


 Empire at strongest with

Hammurabi as leader

Specialized Workers

Food Surpluses provided the opportunity for specialization

 People became artisans, potters, weavers, jewelers, scribes, gov’t officials & priests

Merchants would trade goods for food

 Created Cultural Diffusion




Bronze Age began here

Irrigation system

Invented the wheel, sail and plow

Developed number system

& first form of writingcuneiform

Advanced in medicine, astronomy and chemistry

Architecture- Ziggurat

Weapons made of iron

Complex Institutions

 Religion was polytheistic

 Believed humans were gods servants

 After life was harsh-


 Ziggurat served as the City

Hall or center of City Life

 Priests performed rituals

 Housed offerings to Gods

 Bridge between heaven and earth

Complex Institutions

 Early Govt’s were a


 Gov’t run by Religious


 Monarchies eventually develop leading to


 Assyrian Empire introduced large, strong military

Record Keeping

Sumerian Cities each had their own laws

King Hammurabi of the

Babylonian Empire unified all of the Cities under one

Code of Law –

Hammurabi’s Code

Code engraved in stone that were placed all over empire

Protected women and children

 Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth mentality

Record Keeping

 Cuneiform

 gov’t officials document taxes, laws and grain storage

 Priests created a calendar

 Merchants kept track of payments & debts

 King Ashurbanipal collected

20,000 clay tablets

 Library had modern features; cataloging





Explain how Mesopotamia was able to develop into a civilization while living in a desert climate.

What difficulties were faced by the people in


Explain the significance of King Hammurabi.