Answer Questions on your
• Why do we have laws?
• Write down one law you would change or
one law you add to our current list of laws.
• What would be the consequences of
changing or creating this law (positive,
negative, or both)?
How do we know it was
They had advanced cities….
• City-states grew along
the Tigris & Euphrates
• Mesopotamia = “land
between the rivers”
• This area is also called
the Fertile Crescent
• City-states – city and
the surrounding land it
• City planning: Irrigation
ditches for water, city
walls for defense
Where Mesopotamia is today…
They had complex institutions…
– Earliest governments were controlled by temple
– As wars became frequent, military leaders became
– Dynasty – series of rulers from a single family
– Sumerians believed in many gods/goddesses
– Believed gods controlled every aspect of life
– To keep the gods happy, Sumerians built ziggurats temple
•Hammurabi collected and
established a 282 section code
of laws dealing with daily life.
•“An eye for an eye and a tooth
for a tooth” (instead of fines)
•Hammurabi rose to power by
using his military might to put
down other rulers.
•Hammurabi created a strong
government by reorganizing
the tax system and building
roads, buildings, and irrigation.
They had specialized workers…
King, priests, nobles
Artisans, merchants, scribes, farmers
•Most people were peasant farmers
•Women had legal rights; some owned property, but they could be controlled,
divorced and sold by men.
They had record-keeping…
• Cuneiform – earliest form of writing
They had advanced technology…
• Used dams and irrigation to control rivers
• Developed basic algebra and geometry
• Made accurate calendars (based on moon
• Invented the plow
• Made the first wheeled vehicles, potter’s
wheel, arch, and sundial
I need volunteers…anyone?
• Let’s explore Hammurabi’s Code…
• You are the judge...
• You will need to be able to answer these
questions after the skit and decide what will
happen to the builder:
– What is the problem in this case?
– How did the builder know the nobleman was satisfied
with the house he had built for him?
– What happened to the nobleman’s house?
– What did the nobleman lose in his house?
– Who was killed in the accident?
Your next task
• You were just appointed to head of the
travel bureau in Mesopotamia and you
must create a billboard trying to draw
people to Mesopotamia.
• You must create a visual that makes
travelers want to come your civilization.
• You must include at least four vocabulary
words or key ideas in your billboard.