Sumerian Civilization

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Sumerian Civilization Powered By Docstoc
					    Empires of the Fertile Crescent
•   The Akkadians
•   The Babylonians
•   The Hittites
•   The Assyrians
•   The Chaldeans
•   The Persians
•   Sumerians
 Sumerian Civilization

Also called Mesopotamia or the
        Fertile Crescent

• Located in southwest
• Tigris and Euphrates
• Located in today’s Turkey
• Surrounded by dry lands
  and Mountains
• Climate hot and dry
• cuneiform
  (kyoo-nee-uh-fawrm) Sumerian writing made by
  pressing a wedge-shaped tool into clay tablets.
• arch
  Curved structure over an opening.
• ziggurats
  Sumerian temples made of sun-dried brick.
• city-state
  Form of government that includes a town or city
  and the surrounding land controlled by it.
• How did the geography of the Fertile
  Crescent differ from that of ancient Egypt?
• Sumerian writing was different from
  Egyptian writing.
• Sumerians wrote by pressing marks into
  clay tablets. Writers used a wedge-shaped
  tool called a stylus. As a result, most signs
  were wedge shapes. Today we call
  Sumerian writing cuneiform
    Architecture and science
• They used Arches and Ziggurats
• Each could be up to 150 feet high. The top
  served as a shrine to a Sumerian god.
• First people to develop and use the wheel
• In mathematics, they used a system of numbers
  based on 60. For example, Sumerians divided a
  circle into 360 degrees
• the Sumerians created a lunar calendar. To
  keep it accurate, they added a month every few
    Government and society
• Sumerian city-states rarely united under a single
  government. The people believed that much of
  the land in each city-state belonged to one or
  more gods.
• Kings, high priests, and nobles were at the top of
  Sumerian society, followed by lower priests,
  merchants, and scholars. Below them were
  peasant farmers, then slaves who had been
  kidnapped from other regions or captured in war.
        Farming and trade
• They grew dates, grains, and vegetables,
  and raised domestic animals. They also
  grew flax for linen and wove woolen
• They also grew enough to allow artisans
  and to trade
     Education and religion
• Sumerians considered education very
  important. However, only upper-class
  boys—and no girls—attended school
• Sumerians practiced polytheism. The
  Sumerian gods were identified with forces
  of nature and heavenly bodies, such as
  the sun and the moon.
      Make your own writing
• Each early civilization had their own form
  of writing, now you make your own form of
• Write one sentence in your own form of
  writing and provide a key to decode your
• When you are finished switch with
  someone and decode their language.

• How did the geography of the Fertile
  Crescent differ from that of ancient Egypt?

• What were the main achievements of the
  Sumerian Civilization?
           The Akkadians

• In about 2330 B.C. the Akkadians, a
  people who lived in Mesopotamia,
  attacked and conquered the Sumerians.
• Sargon, who ruled from about 2334 B.C.
  to 2279 B.C., was the most powerful
  Akkadian king.
• The Akkadian Empire lasted about 150
           The Babylonians
• In about 1792 B.C. a strong ruler named
  Hammurabi (ham·uh·RAHB·ee) came to power
  in Babylon
• The Code of Hammurabi concerned all aspects
  of life in Babylon. Some laws dealt with
  commerce and industry, while others regulated
  wages, hours, working conditions, and property
  rights. Punishment was harsh, based as it was
  on the idea of "an eye for an eye."
       Babylonian culture
• Similar to Sumerians
• They were traders and farmers
• Women could own property and be
  merchants and traders or scribes
• The Babylonians adopted many Sumerian
  religious beliefs. The Babylonians made
  sacrifices to their gods for favors like good
  harvests or success in business. Like the
  Sumerians, they believed in a shadowy life
  after death. Babylonians also believed that
  their priests could foretell the future.
  Therefore, Babylonian priests held great
  power and wealth. .
Babylonians numbers
              The Hittites
• The Hittites were a warlike people who
  invaded the Tigris-Euphrates Valley from
  Asia Minor sometime in the 1600s B.C.
  The Hittites were among the first people to
  smelt iron. Their most important
  achievement, however, may have been
  their laws and government. Under Hittite
  law, only major crimes received the death
  penalty. Hittite law called for a person to
  pay a fine
             The Assyrians
• 2000s B.C. they had settled the city of Ashur on
  the upper Tigris River and adopted many
  elements of Sumerian culture
• The Assyrians were fierce, effective warriors.
  Not only did they use chariots in battle, but they
  also were the first to use cavalry—soldiers on
  horseback. They used terror to control their
  enemies. They frequently enslaved the people
  they conquered
• After the Assyrians rose to power, they made
  the city of Nineveh their capital
• Nineveh contained a great library in which
  Assyrian scholars kept clay tablets filled with
  literature and other works collected from all
  over the empire
• Epic of Gilgamesh, the story of a Sumerian
  king and one of the oldest works of literature
• Powerful Assyria and its great capital
  eventually fell. In about 635 B.C. civil war
  broke out, weakening Assyria so that it could
  not resist outside invaders.
Assyrians Carrying Away the
        Enemies ...
           The Chaldeans
• The Chaldeans took control of much of the
  territory that the Assyrians had ruled.
  Under the leadership of Nebuchadnezzar.
• Babylon once again became a large and
  wealthy city. Trade flourished, and within
  the city were impressive canals and
  magnificent buildings. The king's palace
  included beautiful terraced gardens,
  known as the Hanging Gardens.
• The Chaldeans were skilled astronomers
• The Chaldeans also made advances in
  mathematics. They calculated the length
  of a year with a very high degree of
• Within 30 years of Nebuchadnezzar's
  death, the Chaldean empire fell.
Hanging Gardens
           Persian Geography

• The Persian Empire
  stretched between the
  Indus River and parts of
  southeastern Europe.
• The Persians and Medes
  migrated into what is now
  Iran by 850 B.C.
             The Persians
• Their greatest ruler was Cyrus the Great
• Both Darius and Xerxes invaded Greece in
  the 400s B.C., but failed to conquer it.
  Nevertheless, the Persians still ruled the
  mightiest empire in history up to that time.
• They were all powerful ruler but concerned
  with justice, they collected taxes and
  administered the law fairly.
• Secret agents known as "the King's Eyes
  and Ears" kept the king informed. As a
  result, regional governors and military
  leaders appointed by the ruler were held in
          Persian religion
• The great prophet Zoroaster taught people
  that they must choose between good and
  evil in life and that determines what
  happens in the afterlife.
• Located in today’s Israel, Lebanon and
• Great traders by sea
• barter
  Exchange of one good or service for another.
• commodities
  Goods that have value, especially relating to
  barter economies
• money economy
  Economic system based on the use of money as
  a measure of value and a unit of account.
• What is the difference in Barter economy and
  money economy?
• Phoenicians were great traders on the sea. The
  Phoenician seaports of Tyre and Sidon
  (SYD·uhn) became world famous.
• Phoenicia had one particularly important natural
• They were skilled glass blowers and metal
• They created a dye from a shellfish called
  murex, making a purple dye.
• The Phoenicians also exported dried fish, linen,
  olive oil, and wine.
          Phoenician culture
• Their government and customs resembled those
  of the Egyptians and Babylonians. Through
  trading, the Phoenicians spread those cultures
  throughout the Mediterranean area.
• Phoenicians believed in an afterlife, their efforts
  were focused on winning the favor of one of the
  many gods they worshiped, sometimes going so
  far as to sacrifice their own children
• The Phoenicians did, however, make one major
  contribution to the world: the Phoenician
Phoenician trade
Write your name in Phoenician
• Lydians are remembered as the first
  people to use coined money. They began
  issuing small kidney-bean-shaped pieces
  of money made out of a mixture of gold
  and silver.
• They switched from a barter economy to a
  money economy.
• What is the difference between barter
  economy and money economy and what
  are the advantages?
           Origins of Judaism
• In the southern part of
  the fertile crescent, to
  the south of
  Phoenicia a small
  strip of land called
  Canaan was where a
  group of people called
  Hebrews lived, the
  ancestors of modern
• According to their holy text their founder
  was Abraham and his grandson Jacob’s
  twelve sons began the Twelve tribes of
  Israel. They were enslaved by the
  Egyptians for 400 years, until Moses led
  them out and received the Ten
  Commandments. When the Hebrews
  agreed to the commandments, they
  entered a covenant, or solemn agreement
  with Yahweh, their God.
• After wandered for years in the desert they
  were united under a single King named
  Saul, he was succeeded by David who
  started a new dynasty. He made Israel's
  Capital Jerusalem and under David and
  his son Solomon, Israel reached its height
  of power. Their religion is called Judaism
  and can be found in the Torah or first five
  books of he Christian Bible, they are
  ethical monotheism, believe in one God.