The Rise of Sumer Mesopotamia Division of Labor Quiz • 1. On loose leaf notebook paper, not ripped from your notebook, place heading and title on paper. • 2. Complete quiz – just answer questions – A. T or F = Mesopotamia’s surplus of goods led to the need for more people to work in the fields. – B. T or F = Division of Labor refers to the work force being split into different jobs. – C. T or F = The use of irrigation provided abundant water for the crops. – D. T or F = Division of labor works best if all people do their job on time. – E. T or F = Laws and government is not needed with division of labor. – F. T or F = a positive aspect of division of labor is jobs being done in an efficient manner. Sumer An Advanced Society • By 3000 BC, several hundred thousand Sumerians had settled in Mesopotamia, in a land they called Sumer, the world’s first civilization. • Most people in Sumer were farmers. Sumer consisted of city-states, a city (urban) and all the countryside (rural) around it. • The amount of countryside controlled by each citystate depended on its military strength. Stronger city-states controlled larger areas. City-states in Sumer fought each other to gain more farmland. Gilgamesh, Akkads, and Sargon • Over the next 1,000 years, the city-states of Uruk and Ur fought for dominance. One of Uruk’s kings, known as Gilgamesh, became a legendary figure in Sumerian literature. • Another society developed along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, this society was created by the Akkadians . • The Akkadians and Sumerians lived in peace for many years. That peace was broken in the 2300’s BC when Sargon sought to extend Akkadian territory. • Sargon established the world’s first empire, or land with different territories and peoples under a single rule. • Eventually, the Sumerian city-state of Ur rebuilt its strength and conquered the rest of Mesopotamia, making Sumer the most powerful civilization once again. Sumerian Religion • In many ways, religion was the basis for all of Sumerian society. • Sumerians practiced polytheism, the worship of many gods. • The gods they worshipped included the gods of: the air, wisdom, fresh water, salt water, love and war, sun and moon. • Each city-state considered one god to be its special protector. The Sumerians believed that their gods had enormous powers. They built temples to honor them known as ziggurats. • Gods could bring a good harvest or a disastrous flood; they could bring illness, good health, and wealth. • The Sumerians believed that success in every area of life depended on pleasing the gods. • Every Sumerian had a duty to serve and worship the gods. Ziggurat Priests • Priests, were people who performed religious ceremonies, had great status in Sumer. • People relied on priests to help them gain the gods’ favor. • Priests interpreted the wishes of the gods and made offerings to them. • These offerings were made in temples, special buildings where priests performed their religious ceremonies. Sumerian Social Order • • • • • Because of their social status, priests occupied a high level in Sumer’s social hierarchy, the division of society by rank or class. In fact, priest were just below kings, or monarch. The kings of Sumer claimed that they had been chosen by the gods to rule, or divine right rule. Below the priests were Sumer’s “freedmen” or skilled craftspeople, merchants, and traders. Trade had great impact, or effect, on Sumerian society. Traders traveled to faraway places for gold, silver, copper, lumber, and precious stones. Below traders, farmers and laborers made up the large working class. Slaves were at the bottom of the social order. • • • The Upper Class: Government officials, professional soldiers, and priests were found in this class. The Lower Class: also known as freedmen were comprised of shopkeepers, farmers, merchants, and laborers. They made up most of the population. Slaves: Slavery was an accepted part of life in Sumer and slaves were the lowest in the caste system. A person could find themselves a slave for several reasons, such as prisoners of war, debt, or born into slavery. They justified their slavery as would others: that their gods had given them victory over an inferior people. Husbands could also sell their wives into slavery and parents could sell their children into slavery. Stone “Picture” of Enheduanna Men and Women in Sumer • Sumerian men and women had different roles. • In general, men held political power and made laws, while women took care of the home and children. • Education was usually reserved for men, but some upper-class women were educated as well. • Some educated women were priestesses in Sumer’s temples. • Some priestesses helped shape Sumerian culture. • Enheduanna, the daughter of Sargon, wrote hymns to the goddess Inanna. Her name meant high priestess. She is the first known female writer in history. Review • 1. What kind of significance or impact did Sumer have upon its people, neighbors, and the world? • 2. Explain the significance or impact that religion and social hierarchy played in Sumer. Sumerian B-I-N-G-O Independent • 1. What changes to Sumer’s social hierarchy would you recommend? Explain. • 2. Do you think religion playing a major role in society is a good or a bad thing? Explain. • 3. How effective are Sargon and Gilgamesh to Sumerian history? Explain.