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 Geography • Located in southwest Asia • Tigris and Euphrates rivers • Located in today’s Turkey • Surrounded by dry lands and Mountains • Climate hot and dry vocabulary • 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? Writing • 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 years. 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 goods. • 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 writing. • Write one sentence in your own form of writing and provide a key to decode your writing • When you are finished switch with someone and decode their language. Questions • 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 years Sargon 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 Religion • 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 known. • 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 accuracy. • 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. Government. • 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 check. 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. Persians Phoenicians • Located in today’s Israel, Lebanon and Syria. • Great traders by sea Vocabulary • 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? Trade • 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 resource—lumber • They were skilled glass blowers and metal workers • 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 alphabet. Phoenician trade Write your name in Phoenician Lydians • 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. question • 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 Jews. Judaism • 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. Judaism • 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.