THE CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION

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1 MESOPOTAMIA

2 THE CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION

3 GEOGRAPHY OF THE FERTILE CRESCENT I. Rivers support early civilizations A. Early people settled where crops would grow. B. Many civilizations began near rivers. 1. Water is available 2. Regular floods made soil rich

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5 II. Mesopotamia land between the rivers A. Located in the fertile crescent between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. B. Fertile Crescent: large arc of rich, or fertile, farmland. C. Located in present-day Iraq D. The civilization of Sumer developed here.

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7 E. First Settlements 1. Hunter-gatherers settled in the area 12,000 years ago. 2. People learned to plant crops. a. farmers grew wheat, barley, and grain. b. livestock, birds, and fish were good sources of food. c. Eventually people could produce enough food for a surplus- when you have more than you need. d. More efficient food production=less need for so many farmers.

8 3. People began doing different jobs. a. artisans, religious leaders, government workers. b. Division of Labor: each worker specializes in a particular task or job.

9 III. Each year the rivers flooded and silt covered the land. A. silt: a mixture of rich soil and tiny rocks. B. the land was ideal for farming. C. River Control 1. Irrigation: a way of supplying water to an area of land. 2. canals: human-made waterways IV. The population grew and villages formed into cities!

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11 LESSON 3: ANCIENT SUMERIAN SOCIETY I. City-States of Ancient Sumer A. As the population grew and people settled near one another city-states grew. 1. A City-State is a city that has its own ruler and farmland. Each city-state was like its own independent country. 2. City-States fought each other for land. The citystates with stronger militaries controlled larger areas. 3. Eventually, city-states built strong thick walls around their cities for protection.

12 II. Religion Shapes Sumerian Society A. Society is a community of people who share a common culture. B. Religion was very important to Sumerian society. 1. It played a role in almost every part of life, and can be considered the basis for all Sumerian society.

13 2. The Sumerians were polytheistic which means they believed in many gods and goddesses. 3. They believed that their gods had a lot of power and could bring good things or bad things, so they worked hard to try to please their gods. C. Priests were people who performed religious ceremonies. 1. They had great power in Sumer and made offerings to the gods given by the people. 2. Priests performed religious ceremonies in ziggurats which were the temples of the gods. Each city-state had a ziggurat.

14 III. Social Hierarchy in Sumer A. Social Hierarchy is the division of society based on rank or class. 1. We still have a social hierarchy today (upper class, middle class, and lower class). In school you can think of social hierarchy based on popularity. 2. Sumer s Social Hierarchy a. King b. Priests and Government Officials c. Craftspeople, Merchants, and Traders d. Farmers and Laborers e. Slaves

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16 IF YOU WERE THERE JOURNAL Imagine you live in Ancient Sumer. Choose to be one of the following: King, Priest, Government Official, Merchant, Farmer, or Slave. Write a journal entry as this person. Explain your life: what rights you have? What you do for a living? How you feel about your position in society?

17 LESSON 5: CHARACTERISTICS OF A CIVILIZATION I. What is a civilization? A. A complex and developed culture. II. Characteristics of a Civilization A. Stable food supply 1. Enough food for survival. 2. This also gives the civilization time for advancements. 3. Allows for division of labor: people have different jobs some requiring more skill than others.

18 B. Social Structure 1. Different status levels in society. a. upper class, middle class, lower class, slaves C. Form of Writing 1. Communication 2. Allows ideas to be expressed and history to be preserved. 3. Allows future generations to learn about how people lived. D. Government 1. To make life orderly and to direct people s behaviors.

19 E. Advances in Technology 1. Tools and inventions and new ways of doing things. F. Cultural Identity 1. Education, Music, Clothing, Food 2. Art- paintings, carvings, sculpting, etc. 3. Religion- beliefs and worship 4. Housing- how and where people live.

20 Advances and Achievements of Sumer I. Invention of Writing A. One of the greatest cultural advances in history! B. Cuneiform- the world s first system of writing. 1. Used styluses to write on clay tablets. 2. Began with pictographs- or picture symbols. 3. Used to keep business records. C. Scribes- people hired to write. D. Eventually used to write for many purposes including the writing of epics, long poems that tell stories of heroes. The Epic of Gilgamesh

21 II. Technical Advances A. The Wheel 1. Sumerians were the first to used wheeled vehicles like carts and wagons. B. Potter s Wheel- a device used to spin clay into shapes. C. The Plow 1. Breaks through the ground to prepare soil for planting. 2. Greatly increased farm production. D. Clock 1. Used falling water to measure time. E. Sewers F. They also used metal (bronze) to make stronger tools and weapons

22 III. Math and Sciences A. Developed a math system based on the number Divided a circle into 360 degrees. 2. Divided the year into 12 months. 3. Calculated the area of triangles and rectangles. B. Sumerians used science to study the natural world-animals, plants, and minerals.

23 C. Medicine 1. Produced medicines from animals, plants, and minerals for healing. 2. Kept records of treatments and symptoms. IV. The Arts A. Architecture-the science of building 1. Large palaces 2. 2 story homes for the rich 3. Ziggurat- temple tower 4. used Columns

24 B. Sculpture- included statues of gods and goddesses C. Pottery D. Jewelry- using gold, silver, and gems. E. Cylinder Seals- stone cylinder engraved with designs; would leave behind imprints on clay. 1. used to sign documents. F. Music and Dance 1. reed pipes, drums, tambourines, and lyres. 2. hymns and dances to the gods and for entertainment.

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