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Ancient Mesopotamian Societies

Apr 14, 2017



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Ancient Mesopotamian Societies

Mesopotamia = The land between the two riversIn Between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers

The Sumerians

CuneiformCuneiform was the first writing systemIt was based on syllables and words were written on clay tablets and baked.Cuneiform tells us about important people of the time, their religion, and values and history.

Early Sumerian GovernmentThe 1st cities were led by big men or LU-GALSThey typically met with a council of elders to make important decisionsTheir status increased over time until they became kings and passed power to their sons.

Sumerian Social ClassClasses in Sumer were rigid and fixed by lawWomen were able to own property and engage in businessSlaves were usually war captives or debtors

Mesopotamian ReligionMesopotamian gods were connected with forces of naturePolytheistic religion belief in many godsThere was flooding from the rivers so Mesopotamians believed their gods were angry and violent

Akkadian Empire

Akkadian EmpireIn 2334 BCE, a great Akkadian warrior, Sargon conquered Mesopotamia and established the first empireHe created a large standing armyHe did not have a bureaucracy to collect taxes so his army always had to be on the move

From Sargon to Naram-SinNaram-Sin (2,254 -2,218 BCE) was Sargons grandsonHe expanded Sargons empire to its greatest sizeNaram-Sin declared himself King of the 4 Quarters effectively King of the World

Hammurabis Babylon (1,750 BCE)The New Empire: A Successor to Sumer and Akkad

Who was Hammurabi?Member of the Amorite dynastyKing of Babylon from 1792 1750 BCEUnited all of Mesopotamia under the Babylonian Empire

Who was HammurabiHe was best known for the legal code he codified in 1772 BCE282 laws written on itDiscovered in 1901 in Iran; it was recorded on a clay tablet

If any one point the finger at a sister of god or the wife of any one, and can not prove it, this man shall be taken before the judges and his brow shall be marked.

If he has broken the bone of another free man, his bone shall be broken.

If he has destroyed the eye of a mans slave, or broken a bone of a mans slave, he shall pay half the slaves value.

If a son has struck his father, his hands shall be cut off.

If a woman hates her husband and says, You may not have me, the city council shall inquire into her case; and if her husband has been belittling her, the woman may take her dowry and leaveIf she has not been carefulneglected her house, and belittled her husband, they shall throw her into the water. If a man seeks a divorce a wife who has not born him children, he shall pay her marriage price and return her marriage dowry.

SummaryHammurabis Code is known for:Strict Penalties most involving death and mutilationGender & Class DiscriminationHarsh Punishment of perjuryReputation was important in an age without electronic records.

Assyrian Empire

How did the Assyrians rule and influence Mesopotamia?Warfare was a central part of their cultureWell ordered societyHighly regulated societyCreated public places for tradeHigher class women had fewer rights

The HittitesLocated in Modern Turkey (Anatolia)Most well known for developing iron technologyWe are not quite sure if they were invaders or lived peacefully with others

The PhoeniciansKnown as carriers of civilization because they were mostly sea based people, who focused on trade and living on the waterIn this way, they carried civilizations and promoted cultural diffusionThey are most well known forShip buildingEstablishing colonies throughout the MediterraneanGlass blowing techniques and color dying (purple)Creation of a new alphabet


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