Mesopotamia

Emergence of Civilazation

•Mesopotamia means "in between the useful waters"
•Modern-day Iraq
•3000 BCE to 1000 BCE
Civilizations require:
•Complex social structure (class division)
•Complex political structure (government)
*This does not necessarily make them more civilized
Resources
•Tigris & Euphrates rives provide alluvial soil (Fertile Crescent)
•Timber, metal, and stone had to be imported
•They built with mud brick instead
•Topography was open plain, few natural defenses
Writing as Technology & Art
•Developed in Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and around the Indus River Valley in ~3,000 BCE
•Starts as symbols
•Develops into script systems (token/symbols to cuneiform writing)
Cuneiform
•Cuneiform means "wedge-shaped"
•Has over 350 symbols
•Can be used to write many languages
Writing Systems
•Useful for complex ideas
•Creates an elite class of literate people (scribes, priests)
•Because it creates this class system, it can also be used as a tool of opression
Other Technologies
•Metal crafts
•Math & science
-Multiplication, division, square & cube roots
-Counting based on units of 60
-Basic astrology
Sumerian City-States: 3500 to 2400 BCE
Babylonian Society: 2400 to 1000 BCE
•Ziggurats represent the theology in Sumerian city-states
•Mesopotamia was divided into city-states until 2400 BCE
•unification by Sargon - "lugal" is the Sumerian term for ruler or king
The Law Code of Hammurabi
The Royal Standard of Ur

Contents

Sources: Western Civilization 10th Edition, Volume One to 1715 by Spielvogel

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