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Mesopotamia

By: Sydney G.
by

Sydney G

on 29 May 2013

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Transcript of Mesopotamia

Mesopotamia Geography Mesopotamia is the land between Tigris and Euphrates which flows through Iraq and part of Syria. Mesopotamia is made up of different regions and geography. The natural resources that are located in each area affect the people who live there in a variety of ways. For example, Northern Mesopotamia was made up from hills and plains. Those areas were farmed by early settlers because they were quite fertile due to rain, rivers, and streams. They also used timber, metals, and stones from nearby mountains. Southern Mesopotamia was made up of marshy areas and had wide, flat, and barren plains. Settlers had developed cities along the rivers that flow right through the region. In those areas, contact with neighboring cities was very important because of the lack of natural resources. In order for crops to grow, early settlers had to irrigate land along the banks of rivers. Religion During all periods of life, religion was very important in Mesopotamia and was influenced by all aspects of life. Religion in Mesopotamia was organized by remains of totemism, anthropomorphism, polytheism, emergence of state religion, and belief in afterlife. It was also organized by worship of state leaders,rulers and priests. Priest's leading role was even more emphasized in Mesopotamia; and were both spiritual and secular leaders in Sumer. Festivals and Holidays also had a very important role involving celebrations and ceremonies in religious life. The nature of each festival was determined by the city's calendar. For example, one of the greatest festivals was the New Year's celebration. Mesopotamia means the "land between two rivers"
and had existed from around 3000 B.C.- 500 B.C.E. Class Structure At the top of the society were the priests, who were believed was closest to God. They were considered responsible for the way people behaved in a way so that the Gods would not be displeased. The priests lived closest to a Ziggurat and were the only ones allowed inside to worship and pray. A Ziggurat were mud-brick temples that were built by Mesopotamians and were located in the center of each town. In the second level of society, were the kings and government officials. They also lived close to a ziggurat. Kings were responsible for being a "protector" or "guardian" to the weak and powerless. The government officials were responsible for creating laws for each city-state. However, it wasn't until King Hammurabi of Babylon came along that they actually wrote them down. In the next level of society were the soldiers and scribes. They lived a lived farther from a ziggurat. Soldiers were proud members of a city-state, who protected them from other city-states. They were known for attacking each other over boundary disputes, trade problems and sometimes to show who had more power. A scribe was a very prestigious job. A scribe, who could not be poor nor be a girl, recorded business documents and kept other records. They had to go to school for 12 years to learn how to write in cuneiform. Under the soldiers and scribes were traders, craftsmen, merchants and farmers. They all lived the farthest from a Ziggurat. The majority of people in a city were farmers (about 80%). They lived outside the city walls so that they could access land for their crops. Traders, craftsmen, and merchants created items to either send, sell, or trade to neighboring city-states. Since money had not been invented at that time, they traded or payed with other items. At the bottom of the society were the slaves. Regular citizens were able to become slaves by doing a crime or by gong into debt. They could also become a slave by being brought to the home city as a prisoner after a city has been conquered. Slaves usually do household chores in wealthy homes or constructed buildings. Technological Advances or Innovations Just like in the present, the Mesopotamians divided time by 60, like the 60 second minute and the 60minute hour. They also believed in the 360 degree circle. By studying the phases of the moon, it was believed that the Mesopotamians created one of the first calendars. Babylonians, who settled in part of Mesopotamia, helped made several advances in medicine by using logic and records of medical history to treat with illnesses using creams and pills. Mesopotamians also were the first ones to create the potters wheel to create better pottery. Communication Mesopotamians used a variety of ways to communicate. They used Akkadian, Ablaite, Phoenician, Semitic and Sumerian as their language. Cuneiform was the script that they used to keep records and communicate to scribes. Cuneiform was used to write other languages such as English, French, Spanish, German, etc. Bibliography "Ducksters: Fun Kid site with safe search, sports, games, jokes, and homework help.." Ducksters. Technological Solutions, Inc. (TSI), Jan. 2013. Web. 5 Jan. 2013. <http://www.ducksters.com/>.

"Ancient Civilizations History Web Site." Form of Government in Mesopotamia. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2013. <http://www.anciv.info/mesopotamia/form-of-government-in-mesopotamia.html>.

Dobson, Dr. Monty. "The Archaeology Magazine for Kids!" Digâ¢. Cobblstone Publisher, n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2013. <http://www.digonsite.com/drdig/neareast/16.html>.

MacGregor, Neil. "Geography." Geography. The British Museum, n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2013. <http://www.mesopotamia.co.uk/geography/home_set.html>.

"Mesopotamia Is Great." 123HelpMe.com. 09 Jan 2013 <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=23554>.

"Ancient Civilizations History Web Site." Religion in Mesopotamia and Primary Gods. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Jan. 2013. <http://www.anciv.info/mesopotamia/religion-in-mesopotamia-and-primary-gods.html>.

Institute, Oriental. "Mesopotamia: Law & Government." Mesopotamia: Law & Government. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2013. <http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/ED/TRC/MESO/law.html>.

"Daily Life - Â Mesopotamia." Â Mesopotamia. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2013. <http://landbetweentherivers.weebly.com/daily-life.html>.

"National Geographic Home Page." National Geographic. National Geographic, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2013. <http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/kids/people-places-kids/iraq-mesopotamia-kids/>. Informational Video http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/kids/people-places-kids/iraq-mesopotamia-kids/ Organization of the government Mesopotamians believed that laws came from gods. Laws were inscribed on stone stelae and were placed in many temples. A stelae stands about seven and a half feet tall. Mesopotamia went through many different forms of government. For example, ancient Sumer created one of the oldest forms of government that contains city-states. Sumerian Rulers believed to be both spiritual and secular. Also another form of government was created by the Akkadian civilization. Akkadian kings were considered "classical" despots and had absolute power. Lords named themseves "Lord of the Four Quarters". They also formed a Despotic form of government, but was later adopted by Amorite rulers. Although there were great differences and different periods between each form of government, all of the forms were characterized by powerful rulers. Geography
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