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world history presentation- ancient civilization of Mesopotamia

Tom Ray

on 30 August 2010

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Transcript of Mesopotamia-

Mesopotamia- "land between 2 rivers"
3,000 BCE-1550 BCE Geography
Located in modern day Israel, Iran, and Iraq
Region receives very little rain
Developed very sophisticated irrigation technology
Floods irregularly- both time and volume
silt unpredictable for agriculture
Flat- hard to defend City States
Region was not regarded as one nation but rather
a group of city- states (independent city-nations)
Cities were Theocracies- ruled by gods/priests/religion.
Eventually co-ruled with kings.
Lots of conflicts with each other; invaders
-mostly agricultural
-trade with India and Egypt- crossroads
Important innovations
-Plow Gender Relations
Arranged marriages
signed a contract
women had fewer rights in marriage.
Reasons for divorce
- not fulfilling wifely duties
- not bearing children
- engaging in business and neglecting their home
Some rights were protected
-women could divorce
- entitled to receive husband's property in death
Husbands could cheat; sorry ladies

written language- cuneiform
-wrote on clay tablets
-created a phonetic language
Gilgamesh- epic poem. one of the oldest pieces of literature
- number system based on 60
-interest on loans
-calendar- 12 lunar months
Code of Hammurabi
ruler; oldest set of codified laws
Set precedent for written body of laws; important Western precedent
Strict; "eye for an eye" logic
Crime against upper class more severe; upper class could pay money to lower class.
Strong consumer protection; government officials held accountable. Thought Questions
Which was the most significant contribution: the wheel or cuneiform? Explain.
What elements of Sumerian society do you see in Western society?
Archeologists have found artifacts from India, Egypt, and Greece in Mesopotamia. Speculate how.
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