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Transcript of Mesopotamian Civilization
-While Mesopotamia holds the first civilizations, it also holds one of the world's first cultural hearths. People formed and advanced around the river because it was a major trade route and stop.
-Some inventions from Mesopotamian people are glass, metal, beer, wine, and textile weaving. They created things they could produce from the land around them. Location The Mesopotamian civilization is located in the river valley of Mesopotamia. It's in the middle of Iraq, directly above the Persian Gulf. Cultural Geography The earliest Mesopotamians spoke Sumerian. This language came from another civilization in Mesopotamia, the Sumerians. 5 Themes of Geography http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/world/middleeast/mesopotamia-ruins-at-risk-from-iraqi-residents.html This link will take you to an article by NY Times called, "Seeking to Preserve the Past, but Stumbling on the Present". It is about people who are building on top of ancient Mesopotamian battle grounds, and have no intentions to move. According to the writer, government officials aren't doing as much as they should be to preserve the area where ancient civilizations once lived. By: Malia Mahurin Mesopotamian Civilization Background Knowledge River Valley While Mesopotamia is a civilization, it's also a river valley between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. In Greek, Mesopotamia literally means "land between two rivers". Meso, meaning middle, and potamous, meaning river. This area is also referred to as The Fertile Crescent. More on the Rivers Tigris- 1,180 miles long Euphrates- 1,700 miles long Each river is controlled by the flow of dams. The two rivers originate only 50 miles apart from one another in eastern Turkey. They join in Iraq, creating Mesopotamia and the Shatt al Arab. Finally, the rivers empty in the Persian Gulf. -Climate CLIMATE The climate in Mesopotamia is mostly hot and dry. During the summer, temperatures will range from 110-130 degrees Fahrenheit. The winter tends to be rainy, bringing in lots of snow. In the spring, the snow will melt from surrounding mountains, such as the Zagros, creating floods in the rivers. -Landforms LANDFORMS Inside the Fertile Crescent, there are few landforms besides the rivers. The Zagros Mountains fall slightly outside the area, the Persian Gulf is at the tip, and the Jordan River and Dead Sea lie on the edge. -Natural Resources Natural Resources The most important resource used by Mesopotamians were crops such as wheat, barely, figs, and onions. They could not completely rely on farming though, because of the extreme and often flooding. People in northern Mesopotamia soon found success in collecting timber, metal, and stone from near by mountains. MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS The most important role of Mesopotamian people was to farm in the fertile land available. The majority of people created a living through agriculture, until the floods in Spring. When this season came, people put their time into other things like education. The Mesopotamians created the cuneiform script, a system of telling time through celestial bodies, and also the algebra system. Location- Any specific place on earth Absolute Location- Exact coordinates Ex; Gonzales Louisiana is located at 30.2272° N, 90.9197° W
Relative Location- A location in relation to another place
Ex; EAHS is located by Wal-Mart Place- What a place is like Physical Characteristics- Characteristics made by the earth
Ex; Landforms, lakes, rivers, oceans
Human Characteristics- Characteristics of the people in that area
Ex; Culture, customs, religion, language Region- a place brought together by similar characteristics Formal- Brought together by proven facts
Ex; Countries, states, cities
Functional- Brought together by a focal point
Ex- Baton Rouge Metropolitan Area
Perceptual- Brought together by shared opinions or feelings
Ex; The Bible Belt Movement- The transfer of items People- Human beings
Ex; Media Human-Environment Interaction- How people relate to their environment Depend- Relying on the environment
Ex; using a lake as a water source
Adapt- Getting used to the ways of the Earth
Ex; wearing a coat in the winter
Modify- Changing the environment to make it more suitable
Ex; Deforestation to make a business Interesting Facts -The earliest Mesopotamians wore sheep skin skirts at all times.
-Jewelry was a sign of wealth to both men and woman so richer people would wear as much as they could fit on their body.
-Bowling was a very popular way of entertainment. Mesopotamians would chisel down stone to create balls and pins. LANGUAGE- RELIGION- As far as we know, the first religion was Mesopotamian. This was a polytheistic religion, meaning they believed in many gods. Some of their most important gods were the Sun and Water Gods. A very strange belief of theirs was that the earth was a flat disk with heaven above. They thought that the sea "birthed" the world, meaning the world floated up from the oceans, due to the Water God. (Ancient Mesopotamian) Customs and Traditions Marriage -People would marry early, typically 11-16 years old.
-A male farmer/hunter would marry a good cook.
-If the wife dies, the spouse gets her belongings and chooses how to re-marry.
-If the husband dies, the wife is forced to marry one of his close relatives, such as his brother. Festivals/Holidays -Festivals were determined by the moon. For example, if it was a waxing moon, they'd celebrate the growth of crops. If it was waning, they'd celebrate the Underworld.
- They held a festival or gathering at least once a month. They believed the celebrations kept people happy and disciplined. Burial - Smaller bodies, such as children and infants, were placed in tiny ceramic jars covered with a ceramic lid. The jars were then buried underground.
-Larger bodies were wrapped in strips of carpet then buried underground as well.
Inanna (Ishtar) – Goddess of love, fertility, and war. She was the most important of the female deities.
Nanna (Sin) – God of the moon and the son of Enlil and Ninlil. He travels across the sky in his small boat of woven twigs, surrounded by the planets and stars.
Utu (Shamash) - God of the sun and of justice. Between the time when the sun sets in the west and rises in the east he is in the underworld, where he decrees the fate of the dead. An (Anu) – Sky god, as well as father of the gods, An was the king of all the gods. There was no art depicting him, all information about this god was translated from ancient texts. Enki (Ea) - God of fresh water, known for his wisdom. He was depicted as a bearded man with water flowing around him. GODS IMPORTS EXPORTS Mesopotamian Timeline 5000 BCE The first evidence of man in Mesopotamia 3300 BCE The writing, cuneiform, was invented 2400 BCE The Sumerian language is replaced by the Akkadian language as the primary spoken language in Mesopotamia Mitannian Empire controls north Mesopotamia while Kassites control south Mesopotamia 1400 BCE 500 BCE Mesopotamia becomes part of the Persian Empire 550 BCE Cyrus the Great rises the power; the Persian Empire begins. -Gold
-Petroleum -Olive oil
-Chemicals GOVERNMENT AND ECONOMIC STRUCTURES To begin, Mesopotamia followed a transitional government. Later on, the government formed to fit to their religions and gods.
There wasn't much buying and selling here, the majority of people traded instead. SOCIAL STRUCTURES 5 Themes of Geography Cont. 5 Themes Continued.. Location- The theme of location is presented in the passage in the very first line. It says "MOSUL, Iraq — On land where Assyrian kings once reigned," it tells you where events are occurring. Place- The article describes what the place is like when it describes what Mesopotamia looks like. It says, "It is little more than a mud hut and a scraggly vegetable patch, yet his land has become a battleground, one pitting efforts to preserve Iraq’s ancient treasures against the nation’s modern-day poor." Movement- To find the theme of movement in the passage, you have to infer and read between the lines. Ideas were spread when multiple people decided to protest against people living on these grounds. The idea started with one person, the transferred to the next, then the next, and so on. Human-Environment Interaction- The example of human-environment interaction in the passage is showing people depending on the environment. One of the families living on the ground is a farmer, meaning he lives off of the environment. It says, "His daughters chase chickens through the grass, and in the distance, shepherds drive their flocks past a grassy mound that has disgorged ruined palaces, cuneiform tablets and other shards of an empire that arced across the Middle East." This is just one example that shows how they farm; they breed animals. Region- Throughout the entire passage, the theme of region is displayed. Mesopotamia itself is an example of a formal region because it is a fact that it a fertile river valley. The capital of Iraq is located in eastern Mesopotamia. The city of Baghdad is located just inside the Tigris river. Some other major cities include Tal Afar and Kut. 1900 AD The country Iraq was found and established. 333 BCE Alexander the Great defeats the Persian Empire