World History Notes On Ancient Sumerian City States,Religion,Law,Math& Writing::Downfall of Sumerians::Ancient Middle Eastern Civilizations(other than Sumer)

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*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 war that they couldn't ward off attacks

*Sumerian Advances in Math*

-Sumerians developed math based on a base of 60, which led to present-day measurements

-Sumerians developed a 12 month calendar

-Sumerians developed 60 sec.=min./60 min.=hour/ 360 degrees=circles

*Ancient Middle Eastern Civilizations(other than Sumer)

-Around 2000 b.c., many other groups moved into Mesopotamia

-Sumerian culture didn't die, other civilizations adopted it and added their own touches.

*Hitites*

-Hitites developed iron tools and weapons

-Hitites created the Iron Age(1500-1200 b.c.)

-Hitites tried to keep iron secret from the bronze users

-Hitites invaded Babylon and all of Mesopotamia

-Hitites challenged Egypt

*Phoenicia*

-Phoenicians were great ship builders and sailors

-Phoenicians developed 1st...
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