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Fertile Crescent

an arc of land from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf

2 parts to the Fertile Crescent

Land along the Mediterranean Sea


Located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

Modern day countries located in the Fertile Crescent

Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan

Impact of geography in the Ancient Middle East

Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
provides water

Open plains
invasions constantly happening
and cultural diffusion happens


c. 3000 BCE
First civilization in history
First civilization to flourish in Fertile Crescent


a political unit that includes a town or a city and the surrounding land controlled by it


a Sumerian temple made of sun-dried brick that was dedicated to the chief god or goddess of a particular city-state


The belief in many gods


a family of rulers who right to rule is hereditary

Afterlife view:

Bad relationships with gods
Bad because of their relations with gods
Troublesome relationship


Sumerian writing

Behistun Rock

Write a deceleration - about who he is
Carved in cuneiform and in Persian
Sir Henry Rawlinson- climbs up rock - knows Persian to translate Cuneiform
Without would not be able to read

Epic of Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh was looking for immortality and is telling the story
Similarities to Old Testament
Silver and gold were probably very important to them
Oldest literature (4-5 thousand years old)
Says so much about Samaritans
Flood Story - so many people have had a flood story - proof that there might have been an actual flood
Theory-Could be the black sea- people at the bottom of the Black Sea


The wheel
Math (especially geometry), 60 min in and hour, writings, human body, tools(bronze), Writing System


"wedged shaped" based on wedges - stylists and clay tablets - put in sun and hardened
2000 symbols - simplified to 500 symbols
Each represented words or sounds - don't speak - just write
Difficult to learn
Scribes only ones u needed to know it

Behistun Rock

Without would not be able to read cuneiform


Sargon I of Akkad
First full time military system and capture Samaria (don't get along)
FIRST EMPIRE EVER - less than 200 years
Adapt Samarian styles
Soldiers are only soldiers - 24/7


King Hammurabi
King of Babylon
Most significant
Took over Akkadians Hammurabi receiving laws from Marduk (Moses) (Picture on top of stone)

Code of Hammurabi

1. Oldest known legal system
2. Set of laws for all the follow
3. "Published" laws on an 8ft. Tall Pillar
4. 282 laws
5. Cover criminal behavior, families, personal behavior, civil law, relationship between kids and parents and women and men
6. Patriarchy (men dominate)
7. Rich are treated better than poor
8. Incredibly Harsh
9. Violent law code
10. Physical punishment (eye for an eye punishment)


Put wheels on a cart and the horse is at the front
Associated with making and invention of iron
Iron is cheaper, durable, faster to make, and strong
The bronze age ends and Iron age begins


2000 years of cuneiform tablets
Conquer WHOLE Fertile Crescent and Egypt
Have writing forms, government, art and architecture, and Social Classes
Military Culture (Cruelest was to destroy/kill u)
So cruel no rebellions
Invented Battering Ram - Ladders - Chariots and Iron
Not nice people - they will kill u painfully
Ziggurat - that was a library in Nineveh - clay tablets not books
That's where we found most of out texts and tablets
Horrible and Cultural


Rebuild Babylon - Assyrians Destroyed
Captured Assyrians
Associated with Babylon (1,000 years later)
New Babylon empire
Same gods and cuneiform
King Nebuchadnezzar - king
Babylon captivities of the Jews

The hanging gardens of Babylon

Greeks write about it - Don't know a lot except how the Greeks describe it
Tropical plants on each layer of Ziggurat
Rivers only water - Hanging Gardens Tropical Flower - almost like a dessert - should be like misty
7 WONDERS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD - Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Wife was from Mediterranean Coast - wanted her to be less homesick

King Nebuchadnezzar

King of the Chaldeans


Live along coast- they are being conquered
Not fighters
Different from others in area
No adoption of religion, writings, any if that
Not an empire
Civilization - all 7 classes
Not fighters or conquers
Name of Cities
Tyre - Phoenicians
Byblos - Phoenicians
Merchants - sailors - ship builders - traders
Yes had a lot of trees and tropical


1) First Alphabet based on sound (no vowels)
2) Creating the Color Purple (made from purple mucus from a shell fish) (royalty)
3) Made first glasses - Glass Blowers
4) Cultural Diffusion - Spreading of Culture


Conquered people not conquers
Known for Religion of Monotheism
Standing alone - only Monotheism
First Monotheism


Largest empire seen so far
"The Empire"
Coming from Iran
Persian Language - Don't speak Arabic
People of Iran are Persian
Muslim but don't speak Arabic

Cyrus the Great

Let them keep their religion
Mercy and compassion
Asks for Respect and Loyalty back
People happy to be a part

Cambyses II

Son of Cyrus
Might be mentally ill
People did not like him
Killed by own men and soldiers

Darius I

General and inherent empire
Join army - Could be from anywhere all had t be was loyal
When one person died - got one more immediately
Immortal Army
International Army
Showed Authority by building a Palace and sits on a thrown
Presents himself as Emperor
He built the Behistun Rock
Allows him to be in several places at once
Royal Road and minted coins
Allowed stuff to trade for
Does not want everyone to be foreigners
BUILT BEHISTUN ROCK - Attempt to bring everyone together


Answer to the king
Do what he want


Province that the Satraps rule

Assyrian Art

Violent Paintings

Persian Art

Gifts to Darius on a throne


Last strong empire
Both fail to defeat Greece
Declines of the Empire after Xerxes:
Stop being nice and start living and taking tax money for themselves
Start murdering own brothers to have the empire


Zoroaster made it


good and evil = follow good or evil

Ahura Masda

god of goodness, light, and truth


Demon of evil - not a god


The holy book
like our Bible

How it is similar to Judaism

When you die you go to heaven(if good) and hell(if bad)
Free Will

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