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The Fertile Crescent

The First Civilizations
by

Daniel Kim

on 9 September 2015

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Transcript of The Fertile Crescent

Mesopotamia
The Fertile
Crescent
The Fertile Crescent?
The
Fertile Crescent,
nicknamed the "
Cradle of Civilization,
" is a region in the Middle East that contains moist and productive soil, and major rivers
Big Question:
What are civilizations and where did they first start?
The region served as an
Oasis
in the desert which drew the attention of roaming bands of nomads.
As a Result...
In between the
Tigris
and
Euphrates
Rivers, the world's first civilization began.
Mesopotamia
Sumerians
Akkadians
Babylonians
Writing
Sargon's Empire
Hammurabi Is King
Warrior and a Scholar
Code
People learn to control water
Dug holes to store water
Made Canals to move water
Dams to control flooding
Organized Religion
Sumerians were
Polytheistic
...
...or believed in many different gods
Develop the first writing system called
Cuneiform
.
..
This is called
irrigation
Created songs, stories, poems, and laws
Sargon I creates the first permanent army and
Empire
...
A land that includes many kingdoms and people
3000 BCE
1792 BCE
2330 BCE
A brilliant warrior, he defeats and unites all of Mesopotamia
His new empire is called The Babylonian Empire
Turns out Hammurabi's a pretty smart guy
Hammurabi made sure his new empire flourished by creating a system of
trade
and
taxes.
Hammurabi creates the first set of written laws
It had laws on theft, murder, and trade. Everyone followed them!
They are called
Hammurabi's Code
Land between Two Rivers
"If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out."
They believed these gods ruled all natural forces like:

Storms
Sun
Animals
Fire
Ancient Egypt
3100 BCE - 300 BCE
The Gift of the Nile
The Nile River:
Most of its 4,000 miles flows through the
Sahara Desert
, the largest desert in the world
Without the life-giving waters of the Nile, no life would have ever formed there
What other major river system supported an ancient civilization?
Civilization Number One
Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
aka
Mesopotamia
The Kingdom that Followed
Tip
The Beginning of Ancient Egypt
Egyptian civilization originally started as a small collection of fishing villages up and down the Nile River
These villages were eventually
consolidated
into the Upper and Lower Kingdoms. The Lower Kingdom comprised the Nile Delta, while the Upper Kingdom represented the Nile valley

Each kingdom had different
dialects
,
customs
, and worshiped
different gods
.
It wasn't until 3100 BCE that a ruler named
Menes
conquered and unified all of Egypt into one
dynasty,
or a series of rulers from the same family
Religion
Government
Two Thumbs Up
The history of Ancient Egypt is so vast that we can spend an entire year studying it and still not learn everything!
So in this class we'll break it down to the two most dominate forces of Egyptian life:
Religion
Government
Student Reading
To meet the needs of a skyrocketing population and increasingly demanding and diverse society, a
strong, central government
was required

Central Government
Enter the Pharaohs
The head of the Egyptian government was the all-powerful
Pharaoh
. The Pharaohs were commanding men who held absolute control of everything in Egypt.
The God King
These groups settled down and started humankind's first
civilizations
Civilization Number Two
Government + Religion = ?
Because the Pharaohs were revered as religious figures and held supreme power, a new form of government was born =
Theocracy

Theocracy means, "Rule by God" or a government run by religious figures
Are there any Theocracies in the world today?
They were seen as
living gods
who controlled the sunrise, river, and crops.
In Osiris we Pray
Like the Mesopotamian Civilizations, the Egyptians were also polytheists
These gods were thought to control all aspects of life, so the Egyptian people built numerous monuments called
Obelisks
in their honor
The Big Question
So the big question on everyone's mind was this:
What happens to us when we die?
The Egyptians believed in the
afterlife.
When their physical bodies died, their
Ka
, or spirit, lived on
The Mummy Returns
Poly
Means Many
means?
Through these systems he
collected money from his people
to support the empire, and exchanged goods and services!
This system of exchanging goods and services was called
bartering
AND WHY?
Turns out, relatively all life forms need
water
to exist and flourish. Humans are no different.
In fact the Epic of Gilgamesh, a story of the King of Uruk, is one of the earliest known works of literature.
The Epic says that the Mesopotamian Gods were incredibly angry at how loud and annoying people were so they sent a massive flood to kill humanity. Yikes
Sound Familiar?
The longest river in the world
Flooded regularly from rain and melting snow
Flood waters left behind Silt (Sand & Clay)
Worshiped as a God
Ra
Osiris
Anubis
Why did they stay there?
Turns out as rivers go, the Nile is
Pretty Awesome
Flooding was Predictable.
The Desert was a natural barrier from vicious attackers
And it was full of these
The Egyptians believed than in order to keep their immortal souls alive, the physical body must be
preserved
.
This was called
Mummification
To do this they developed a way to preserve and prevent the body from
decomposing
.
Councils or religious leaders took charge and began leading complex systems like
irrigation
,
law
, or
defense
Predynastic Period
"If you want to know what to do in life, cling to the pharaoh and be loyal" - Egyptian Writer
Full transcript