Civilization in Mesopotamia

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Transcript Civilization in Mesopotamia

Civilization in
Mesopotamia
By Mr. Fitz
New Inventions
• Irrigation
* Canals, aqueducts, reservoirs, dikes,
gates
• Wheel – wheeled cart
• First sailboats
Architecture and Religious Beliefs
• Ziggurat – Largest building in Sumerian
city (mud brick temple)
• Shrine for each city’s special god on top.
• Gods of wind, sun, salt water, fresh water,
earth.
• If pleased gods=good harvest
• Natural disasters=gods were angry
The Role of Government
• Laws are needed to keep order when many
people live together.
• Government = organized system that groups
use to make laws and decisions.
• Each city-state had its own leaders
• City-states went to war with each other and
outsiders
• Monarchy=One person has authority
• Rulers were thought to have great strength,
because were “chosen by the gods.”
(Gilgamesh)
Changing Economies
• Sumerian Farms grew a surplus of crops.
• Since everyone did not have to farm for
food, Sumerians developed Division of
Labor=craft workers in stone, clay, cloth,
leather, metal.
• Managers and Merchants
• Traded throughout the Fertile Crescent
Divisions in Society
•
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
Social Classes based on levels of importance
Kings and Priests (most important)
Scribes
Managers, merchants, craft workers
Farmers and Fisherman
Slaves (usually prisoners of war-lowest on the
scale)
6) Men had more authority, although Women did
hold leadership positions
Innovations
•
•
•
•
New ways of doing things
Need to measure land – “Iku” or Acre
Need to measure crops – “Quart”
Need to carry/trade goods – sail and cargo
boats.
• Need for records – writing “Cuneiform” –
complete system by 2000 BCE on clay
tablets with reeds.