World History Notes On Ancient Sumerian City States,Religion,Law,Math& Writing/Downfall Of Sumerians/Ancient Middle Eastern Civilizations(Other Than Sumer)

1052 words - 4 pages

*Ancient Middle East* (3570 b.c-331 b.c)-Sumerians are the first known civilization in the Middle East.-Sumerians settled in Mesopotamia, which is present-day Iraq-Mesopotamia means "lands between two rivers" (Tigris & Euphrates)-Mesopotamia lies in the East End of "Fertile Crescent"(rich fertile land extending from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea.-It was a hot and dry climate between the rivers, but it had fertile land.- The lands of the middle east were more easily conquered than Egypt; Egypt had natural barriers (deserts), unlike the middle east, which did not.-Egypt wasn't under constant attack, so it left plenty of time for advancements in technology.*Sumerian City-states*-Mesopotamia was split into 12 city-states-Each city-state had their own government and supervised their own canals and dikes.-City-states constructed city walls, and storage areas for food in case of attack.-As city-states grew, they began to fight and have wars with each other.-War became more important and war-time leaders began to control and people began to care less about the priests.-Rich soil was abundant; stone and timber were not abundant-All City-states had a ziggurat: Large, brick temple; home for Gods; largest building in town; center of all social life.*Transportation & Trade-Sometime between 3200 b.c. & 1600 b.c, the sail and wheel were revolutionized.-Sumerians were the first known to use the wheel (invented or borrowed?)-Sumerians used bronze(silver and copper alloy) tools and weapons-Period in Sumer around 2800 b.c. was the Bronze Age.-Any time earlier than the Bronze Age was the Stone Age.*Sumerian Writing*-Sumerians learned to have written record using tools to carve on wet clay (Cuneiform)-Cuneiform(wedge-shaped writing) started as picto-graphs-Later, cuneiform was simplified into using symbols as sounds.-Writing spread across the fertile crescent through conquerors.-Scribes-artisans that were trained to keep records-Girls were not scribes unless they were tutored or went to private schools.*Religion & Law*-Sumerians were polytheistic(belief in many gods)-Each city-state felt property of one god-Sumerians feared the Gods and worked to keep them content-Laws were very strict-Code Of Hammurabi-stated an eye for an eye.-Sumerians did not believe in a happy afterlife.-Sumerians believed that if you died, the Gods were angry with you and you sink into a deep, huge underworld.-The underworld was simply a large, dark pit full of dust and silence.*Sumerian Social Classes*-Nobles(kings & priests) made up 25% of the people and were 1st class.-Commoners(wealthy merchants) made up 50% of the people and were 2nd class.-Slaves(merchants, farmers, workers) made up 25% of the people were 3rd class.-Slaves in Sumer were: foreigners captured as "war loot"; Sumerian children who had been sold into slavery as children to pay debts of their parents.*Downfall of Sumerians*-Constant warfare began to weaken the city-states-They were so weaken by...

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