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.