NOTES Geography * Mesopotamia means the land between the rivers in Greek. (rivers = Tigris and Euphrates) * It is located in western Asia. * It is also known as the world’s earliest urban civilizations. (arose around: 3500 bc) * Mesopotamia, known as “the cradle of civilization”, was the centre of Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, and Chaldean civilizations. * The area now forms most of modern Iraq, south-eastern Turkey, and eastern Syria. * The natural wealth of Mesopotamia has always attracted people from poorer neighbouring regions, and its history is one of continuous migration and invasion.
The growth of date palms in the south provides a rich supply of food, fibre, wood, and fodder. Mesopotamia Revolution * About ten thousand years ago, the people of this area began the agricultural revolution. * Instead of hunting and gathering their food, they tamed animals, beginning with the sheep. * They lived in houses built from mud-brick, grouped in villages where they take care of their crops. * They built granaries (store house for grains) to store their grain, and they began developing a token system to record trade and accounts.
http://it. stlawu. du/~dmelvill/mesomath/history. html Rivers: Tigris and Euphrates * The Tigris and Euphrates lie about 400 km (250 mi) apart as they flow south out of Turkey; the Euphrates runs for 1,300 km (800 mi), and the Tigris for 885 km (550 mi) before they join, reaching the Persian Gulf as the Shatt Al Arab. * Rainfall is low in most of the region, but when irrigated (watered) by canals the fertile soil results heavy crops. * Both rivers have fish, and the southern marshes contain wildfowl. Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Gods, Goddesses, Demons and Monsters * The people of Mesopotamia believed that their world was controlled by gods and goddesses, demons and monsters. * There were hundreds of gods who were responsible for everything in the world, from rivers and trees to making bread and pottery. * Each city was protected by its own special god or goddess and their family. Large temples were built in the centre of the city for these gods to live in. Priests looked after the gods with special rituals. There were also smaller temples throughout the city where ordinary people could make offerings. Demons were created by the gods with human bodies and animal or bird heads. They could be either evil or good. Monsters were a mixture of animals and birds. http://www. mesopotamia. co. uk/gods/home_set. html Role of Women * Most girls were trained from childhood for the traditional roles of wife, mother, and housekeeper. * They learned how to grind grain, how to cook and make beverages, especially beer, and how to spin and weave cloth for clothing. * If a woman worked outside of her home, her job usually grew out of her household tasks. She might sell the beer she brewed, or even become a tavern keeper. tavern = bar) * Childcare roles led women to become midwives and also to create medicines that prevented pregnancy or produced abortions.
* Soon after puberty, a young girl was considered ready for marriage. The families of the future bride and groom arranged marriages. * Ceremonies have been described where the future husband poured perfume on the head of the bride. He also gave her family money and other presents. * Once a woman was engaged, she was considered part of her fiance’s family. If her husband-to-be died before the wedding, she was then married to one of his brothers or another male relative. ttp://mesopotamia. lib. uchicago. edu/mesopotamialife/article. php? theme=Role of Women Government * The Laws of Hammurabi are the longest and best organized of the law collections that survive from ancient Mesopotamia. King Hammurabi, who ruled from 1792-1750 B. C. * It had the laws inscribed on stone pillar which he placed in various temples throughout his kingdom. The pillar from which this cast was made stands almost seven-and-a-half feet tall. At the top of the pillar, King Hammurabi stands before the sun god Shamash, the Mesopotamian god of justice, who is seated on his throne. Sumerian laws were not written down, but people knew what they were and they knew what could happen to you if you broke the law. The Sumerian laws clearly said how you had to behave and what your punishment would be if you did not behave correctly.
* Babylonian Laws are the laws that were later written down by the ancient Babylonians were, for the most part, laws first created by the ancient Sumerians. http://oi. uchicago. edu/OI/MUS/ED/TRC/MESO/law. html Economy * Trade and commerce developed in Mesopotamia because the farmers learned how to irrigate their land. They could now grow more food than they could eat. They used the surplus to trade for goods and services. Ur, a city-state in Sumer, was a major center for commerce and trade. Temples were the chief employer and location for commercial activity. * Money wasn’t used to trade goods and services back then. The Mesopotamians used the barter system. * They developed a writing system to keep track of buying and selling. Scribes kept accurate records of business transactions by writing on clay tablets. * The system of trade developed from people’s need. People in the mountains needed wheat and barley. Mountain people could give timber, limestone, gold, silver, and copper. Flax was grown in the river valley and then woven into cloth. Linen garments were worn by priests and holy men. Wool and wool cloth was also important for trade. Wood was used for ships and furniture. http://ablemedia. com/ctcweb/showcase/dlottmesopotamia3. html http://answers. yahoo. com/question/index? qid=20100727133641AAm9jXl Innovation * Sumerians have been said to have invented some very important tools, including the wheel, sail, and plow. They were one of the first to use bronze at the start of the Bronze Age. They also had a unique writing system where they recorded scientific records. ttp://wiki. answers. com/Q/What_are_the_innovations_of_ancient_mesopotamia
* The most important invention made by the Mesopotamians was the invention of writing by the Sumerians. With the invention of writing came the first recorded laws called Hammurabi’s Code as well as the first major piece of literature called the Epic Tale of Gilgamesh. * Although archeologists don’t know for sure who invented the wheel, the oldest wheel discovered was found in Mesopotamia. It is likely the Sumer first used the wheel in making pottery in 3500BC and then used it for their chariots in around 3200 BC. Astronomy : Using their advanced math, the Mesopotamian astronomers were able to follow the movements of the stars, planets, and the Moon. One major achievement was the ability to predict the movements of several planets. This took logic, mathematics, and a scientific process. By studying the phases of the Moon, the Mesopotamians created the first calendar. It had 12 lunar months. * The Babylonians made several advances in medicine. They used logic and recorded medical history to be able to diagnose and treat illness with creams and pills. http://www. ducksters. com/history/mesopotamia/science_and_technology. php
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