The Bronze Age: Mesopotamia

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THE BRONZE
AGE
Earliest known civilization :
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is at the eastern end of the Fertile
Crescent.
 Mesopotamia (“between the rivers”)
 Mesopotamia is located between the Tigris and
Euphrates Rivers.

Euphrates
Tigris
MESOPOTAMIA
MESOPOTAMIA
These rivers often overflow and leave silt, which
makes the soil rich for a flourishing agricultural
economy.
 Mesopotamian civilization was one of history’s
important early civilizations.
 Developing consistent agriculture required
controlling the water supply.
 People in Mesopotamia, therefore, developed a
system of drainage ditches and irrigation works.

MESOPOTAMIA

The resulting large
food supply made
possible significant
population growth
and the emergence of
civilization in
Mesopotamia
MESOPOTAMIAN CITY-STATES
The Sumerians
developed the first
Mesopotamian
civilization.
 City-states: were the
basic political unit of
the Sumerian
civilization.

MESOPOTAMIAN CITY-STATES
The Sumerians
invented the arch and
the dome.
 The most important
building in each city
was the temple called
a Ziggurat.

Ziggurat of Ur
(Iraq: Present Day)
MESOPOTAMIAN RELIGION
The Mesopotamians
were Polytheistic.
 Polytheistic: Belief in
more than one god or
goddess.
 They were called the
Annunaki.
 Each City-State had a
chief god of the city,
however they believed
in all of the Annunaki

MESOPOTAMIAN GOVERNMENT

Stele of Ur-Nammu
receiving his mandate
from the god Enil to
rule his people.
The Sumerian citystates were
theocracies (Theo
meaning “god” and
cracy meaning “rule”).
In a theocracy,
government authority
is founded upon divine
authority give by the
gods.
MESOPOTAMIAN ECONOMY
The Sumerian
economy was
principally
agricultural, but
industry (metalwork
and woolen textiles,
for example) and
trade were important.
 The invention of the
wheel around 3000
B.C. facilitated trade.

MESOPOTAMIAN SOCIAL CLASSES

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

The Sumerian city-states
had three classes:
Nobles included the royal
family, royal officials,
priests, and their families.
Commoners worked for
large estates as farmers,
merchants, fishers, and
craftspeople. Around 90
percent of the people were
farmers.
Slaves principally worked
on large building projects,
wove cloth, and worked the
farms of the nobles.
BIRTH OF AN EMPIRE



Sargon I (Left),
Typical Akkadian
Solders (Right)
Empire: is a large
political unit that
controls many peoples
and territories.
The Akkadians are
called a Semitic people
because they spoke a
Semitic language.
Around 2340 B.C., the
leader of the Akkadians,
Sargon, conquered the
Sumerian city-states
and set up the world’s
first empire.
MESOPOTAMIAN
MILLITARY
Akkadian
Heavy
Infantry
Akkadian
Archer &
Light
Infantry
Artwork by
Robbie
McSweeney
Akkadian Commander
THE WORLDS FIRST EMPIRE
Sumer: c. 3200 B.C.E.
Akkadian Empire: c. 2350 B.C.E
EMPIRE AFTER EMPIRE

In 1792 B.C.,
Hammurabi of
Babylon, a city-state
south of Akkad,
established a new
empire over much of
both Akkad and
Sumer.
SYSTEM OF LAW
The Code of Hammurabi is one of the world’s most
important early systems of law.
 There are a set of 282 laws put forth to the people
under Hammurabi's rule.
 It calls for harsh punishments against criminals,
and was not applied equally to all people.
 The principle of retaliation (“an eye for an eye, a
tooth for a tooth”) is fundamental in Hammurabi’s
code.

WRITING
The Sumerians are
most famous for their
invention of a form of
writing called
Cuneiform.
 It is a series of dash
and marks placed in a
clay tablet with reads
and the baked.

Akkadian
Cuneiform
WRITING
LETS MAKE A TIME LINE
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (10,000–8700 BC)
 Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (8700–6800)
 Hassuna (~6000 bc–? BC), Samarra (~5700 BC–
4900 BC) and Halaf (~6000 BC–5300 BC)
 Ubaid period (~5900–4400 BC)
 Uruk period (~4400–3100 BC)
 Jemdet Nasr period (~3100–2900 BC)
 Early Dynastic period (~2900–2350 BC)
 Akkadian Empire (~2350–2100 BC)
 Ur III period (2112–2004 BC)
 Early Assyrian kingdom (24th to 18th century
BC)

LETS MAKE A TIME LINE.
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Early Babylonia (19th to 18th century BC)
First Babylonian Dynasty (18th to 17th century BC)
collapse: Minoan Eruption (c. 1620 BC)
Middle Assyrian period (16th to 11th century BC)
Assyrian Empire (c. 1365 BC–1076 BC)
Kassite dynasty in Babylon, (c. 1595 BC–1155 BC)
collapse: Bronze Age collapse (12th to 11th century
BC)
Neo-Hittite or Syro-Hittite regional states (11th to
7th century BC)
Neo-Assyrian Empire (10th to 7th century BC)
Neo-Babylonian Empire (7th to 6th century BC)
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