Terms in this set (33)
What was the earliest known civilization and where did it develop?
Mesopotamia, southern Iraq
How did Mesopotamia get its name?
Land between the rivers
What two rivers are on either side of Mesopotamia?
What is an interesting characteristic of the two rivers?
they run parallel to each other for more than 1,000 miles
What is the Fertile Crescent and why was it important?
curving strip of excellent farm land
What present-day countries are in the Fertile Crescent?
Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan
Historians believe Mesopotamia was first settled in about
Annual floods left ___________ on the banks and plains.
Why was silt important?
It provided excellent soil for farming
How did the people of Mesopotamia control the seasonal floods?
they built dams and canals
How did digging canals help irrigate Mesopotamian crops?
it allowed water to flow from a water source to the fields
What is Sumerian writing called?
How many characters did Sumerian writing system have?
27. Why did Sumerian write on clay?
they did not have paper
Who learned to read and write?
mostly wealthy boys
Why was reading and writing so important in Sumer?
knowing how to read and write would allow one to become a scribe (official record keeper)
What was the job of a scribe?
court records, marriage contracts, business dealings, judges, government officials
What do some historians believe is the oldest written story?
In what style is it written?
epic (long poem about a hero)
List some Sumerian inventions.
wheel, carts, chariots, sailboat, wood plow, potter's wheel, bronze, geometry, division, multiplication, 60 minute hour, 60 second minute, 360 degree circle 12 month lunar calendar
What did farmers do with surplus food?
surplus food was stored or traded
Where was Sumer located?
What three cities developed in Sumer?
Ur, Uruk, Eridu
Why was it so difficult to travel to Sumerian cities?
harsh landscape (mudflats, scorching heat)
What resulted from the cities being cut-off from one another?
Sumerian cities became independent and became city-states
What was the population range in the city-states?
between 5,000 -20,000
What was the main building material in Sumer?
Describe a Sumerian city-state.
High walls surrounding city-state, gates open during day closed at night, ruler's palace, temple, and public buildings in the center of city
What type of belief system did Sumerians practice?
What were the large religious temples called?
Where was the "holy place" in the ziggurat?
at the very top
Why is Mesopotamia considered the "cradle of civilization?"
the beginning of organized human society
What is considered the most important Sumerian contribution?
system of writing