AP Summer Assignment
Theme 1: Interaction between humans and the environment The important geographic features of Southwest Asia are the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The land didn’t receive much rainfall but the rivers provided freshwater for irrigating crops and travel. The artificial irrigation provided surplus crops, which resulted in a large increase in population and attracted migrators to the region. These rivers helped the region expand and grow into a larger civilization. The people of the area utilized the rivers for irrigation due to the little rainfall. They adapted to their surroundings to survive. The geography of the land greatly impacted the way people lived at the time. It impacted the way they built cities, irrigated their crops and it also opened doors to the mixing of cultures, making the civilization grow and expand.
Theme 2: Development and interaction of cultures The most prominent religion of ancient Mesopotamia was polytheism. In the surrounding areas of Mesopotamia, polytheism was mostly practiced also. The Israelites, Jews and Hebrews were in contact with Mesopotamians quite often and they were impacted by their religion and beliefs. They believed in similar gods as the Mesopotamians, including several nature spirits. It wasn’t until the time of Moses, when the Israelites embraced a monotheistic way of worshiping. When Judaism was introduced, it wasn’t widely accepted among the area. The religion did influence the development of other religions. Writing systems in Mesopotamia showed that Mesopotamia and the other areas surrounding it were intermixing and adapting to one another. Syrian and Phoenician cultures developed their own systems of writing based off of Mesopotamian culture. Writing evolved over time by the intermixing of cultures. During this time, the ancient peoples developed new ways of building and constructing ships, iron and metal welding, developed several tools still used today and trade networks. The