Mesopotamia PowerPoint

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Irrigation Canals Shaduf Moats Modern Day Irrigation on the Tigris

Was Ancient Sumer a Civilization?

Stable Food Supply Written Language Social Structure Technology

Characteristics of a Civilization:

System of Government Highly developed Culture Religion

Sumarians invented 2 things: Complex Irrigation System - Canals, dams and reservoirs to provide a regular supply of water The Plow A tool for turning the soil. This allowed the farmers to plant faster. The first plow was made out of wood

A social structure is a way a civilization is organized A social structure includes different jobs and social levels At the top were: Kings, priests, land owners, government officials The middle were made up of merchants and craftspeople. These were highly skilled workers that made tools, weapons for the army as well as luxury items like jewelry for the rich. Farmers and fisherman would be at the bottom of this class Very bottom of the social structure would be the slaves. They had no property of their own

Sumerian city-states were ruled by kings Thought to be chosen by the gods to be rule in their place.

The King: Enforced the laws and collected taxes Led the army Made sure the irrigation systems were maintained


The people of Mesopotamia practiced a polytheistic religion POLYTHEISM – the belief in many gods

The Ishtar Gate Dedicated to the Goddess Ishtar Goddess of Love and War

Metalworkers made weapons and cups, as well as jewelry The arts include creative form of expression such as, painting, architecture, music and literature.

Musicians played many instruments, A favorite being the lyre

Epic – a heroic, larger than life story. The Sumerian hero Gilgamesh traveled the world in search of immortality. He even had a side kick, Enkidu. On one of his journeys, he came across an old man, Utnapishtim, who told

World’s first super hero story written on 12 clay tablets

Gilgamesh the story of a great flood that swallowed the earth and how he had survived by building an ark.

King of Uruk about 2700 B.C.E

The Sumerians made many technological advances.

THE WHEEL Sledge Pottery wheel

Calendar Irrigation Sailboat Aqueducts Sundials Siege Warfare Firing of clay - kiln

Cuneiform Writing (Wedge Shaped) Pictographs are symbols that stand for real objects .

A Scribe is a professional record keeper, or a writer.

Sargon creates the first empire Hammurabi and the Code of Laws Rose to power around 900B.C.E




2300 B.C.E - Sargon unites the city –states making the first empire.

Empire – a large territory were several groups are ruled by a single leader One myth states that Sargon was placed in a reed basket and placed into the Euphrates River, where he was found by a farmer in the kingdom of Akkad.


King of Babylon – conquered the rest of Mesopotamia making the region known as Babylonia Known for his “Code of Laws” which he received from the gods. The laws were written on a stele and placed in a temple for all to see.

First set of laws that applied to everyone.

The Assyrian Empire

Built some of the first aqueducts that brought drinking water to Nineveh from 30 miles away Assyrians rose to power around 900 B.C.E.

They were a very strong military that became very good at siege warfare.

Assyrians developed battering rams and movable towers that could be rolled up to city walls

His palace today

Nebuchadnezzar – reigned from 605 -562 B.C.E.

The Neo-Babylonian Empire Conquered the Hebrew people n the land of Canaan (Israel today). He enslaved them and took them to Babylonia.

Babylonians were skilled mathematicians. They created the first sundial and made discoveries that gave us the 60 minute hour and the 7-day week.

Thought to have been built by Nebuchadnezzar For his wife One of the 7 ancient wonders of the world

In 539 Cyrus the king of the Persian Empire,(Iran today),conquers all of Babylon. For 200 years the Persians rule the most powerful empire in the world .

His tomb