Cradle of Civilization

Topics: Mesopotamia, Sumer, Uruk Pages: 5 (1400 words) Published: September 7, 2013
Cradle of Civilization

* A term referring to locations identified as the sites of the emergence of civilization * Civilization is an advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture, science, industry, and government has been reached. *

Mesopotamia: Cradle of Civilization

* The name Mesopotamia is a Greek word meaning “between the rivers.” * located in a region that included parts of what is now eastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, and most of Iraq, lay between two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates * Why Mesopotamia?

* Several civilizations flourished in the region.
* Mesopotamia is generally credited with being the first place where civilized societies truly began to take shape. People around the world had been developing the groundwork for civilization for millennia: Agriculture was established around 8000 B.C. The domestication of animals for labor and food developed simultaneously. People had been creating art for thousands of years already. Early laws had been established in the form of mores and folkways. All of these were parts of human culture, but not civilization. Mesopotamians refined, added to and formalized these systems, combining them to form a civilization * Mesopotamia was a land of lush vegetation, abundant wildlife, & copious water resources. By 6000 B.C., many people migrated from neighboring areas into its water rich land where the Tigers meet Euphrates in the South.. * The convergence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers produced rich fertile soil and a supply of water for irrigation. The civilizations that emerged around these rivers are among the earliest known non-nomadic agrarian societies. * Because Ubaid,Sumer, Akkad, Assyria and Babylon civilizations all emerged around the Tigris-Euphrates, the theory that Mesopotamia is the cradle of civilization is widely accepted. *

Sumerians

-The civilized life emerged in Sumer was shaped by the unpredictable devastating floods of the two rivers & the deposit of soil to make a low level fertile Marshy land. For the first time in history, the Sumerian people learned to grow surplus food. As surplus production increased and as collective management became more advanced, a process of urbanization evolved and Sumerian civilization took root in the Southern Iraq.

* around 3000 BC they began to form large city-states in southern Mesopotamia that controlled areas of several hundred square miles.

-The Sumerians were the first Mesopotamian civilization. They lived in independent walled city-states. Although there was not much stone or wood in the area, Sumerians learned to build with clay bricks made from the mud and this was the primary building material. -The Sumerians were highly innovative people who responded creatively to the challenges of nature. They innovated many great legacies to the humanity, such as writing, irrigation, the wheel, astronomy, & literature.

* The Sumerian Great Legacies:

* Writing

-It began as record keeping for trade and evolved into the use of symbols for writing down laws and stories. -The first letter in history was written in Sumer as a pictograms (simplified pictures on clay tablets), gradually they created the Cuneiform writing which contains phonetic & syllabic, elements providing a flexible way of communication.

-Through writing, the Sumerians were able to pass on knowledge & experience to successive generations; this led to marked improvements in agricultural production & science advancement.

* Literatures

-Recording of poetry, epics, events & history was started by the Sumerians. The famous Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh has survived in almost the complete form. Laden with complex abstractions & emotional expressions, the epic of Gilgamesh reflects the intellectual sophistication of the Sumerians, & it has served as the prototype for all Near Eastern inundation stories. -Epic of Gilgamesh - a collection of stories about a...
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