Unit 2 Civilization & Development in the Neolithic Age Section 2

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Unit 2
Civilization & Development
in the Neolithic Age

Section 2


  • Key Terms for Mesopotamia

  • city-state =

  • artisans =

  • ziggurat =

  • cuneiform =

  • scribe =

  • priest-kings =

  • empire

  • culture

  • reform

  • reign

  • Gilgamesh

  • Sargon I

  • Hammurabi

  • Mesopotamia

  • Sumer

  • Ur

  • Babylon

The Rise of Mesopotamia

  • The earliest known civilizations developed along the ____________ and ____________ Rivers

    • These rivers originate in eastern Turkey, which in ancient times was called______________.

    • The rivers join and enter into the ____________ Gulf

    • Today we call this area _________.

    • In ancient times this area was known as Mesopotamia OR 1)___________________________ 2)___________________________ 3)___________________________

The First Civilization

  • People originally settled __________ in about 3500 BC. This area is located in southern Mesopotamia.

  • They were:

    • Short

    • Stocky

    • Black haired

  • Sumer is known as the first civilization on earth.

    • For the first time people began to control their physical environment.

    • The two rivers flooded each spring.

    • They built _____________ in order to control the river.

  • Wyoming Valley Levee
    Forty Fort, Pennsylvania

  • Every year when the climate became dry, they would poke holes in the levees.

  • This water would run through channels to water the crops

    • This invention was called _______________.

  • The chief crop was barley.

    • flax

    • wheat

    • sesame

    • fruit trees

    • date palms

    • vegetables

  • Mesopotamian Cities

  • As the population grew, other cities emerged.

    • Each city was considered a country within itself.

      • Historians call them ________-_____________.

      • Greatest city in Sumeria was Ur.


  • Each city-state consisted of the city and the nearby _____________. The city-state was surrounded by a fortified _______.

  • Near the center of the city lived the upper class. Their jobs were___________and wealthy ___________.

  • Upper class houses were two stories high with balconies which looked over courtyards.

  • Behind the houses of the rich lived the middle class:

    • Government officials, shopkeepers, & ______________, or skilled workers.

  • Middle class houses were built around courtyards, but were only one story high.

  • Further beyond the middle class lived the lower class: fishermen, unskilled workers, and _________________.

  • Often city-states would go to war with other city-states over boundaries, to prove which city was more powerful, or to gain wealth.


  • At the center of each city-state was a ______________.

  • ziggurat” literally translated means 1)_________________________ OR 2)_________________________.

  • The ziggurat was the home of the city’s chief god.

  • Around the ziggurat were courts

  • These courts and the ziggurat were the center of everyday life.

    • _______________ worked there.

    • Students attended school.

    • All great events were celebrated there.


  • Sumerians believed that all forces of nature were alive.

  • There were more than ________ Sumerian gods.

  • They believed that humans were on earth to serve the gods.

  • Only priests knew the will of the gods.

  • Priests ran every aspect of daily life.

  • Priests ran the schools:

    • Schools were only for the sons of the ______________.

    • ___________ children learned to work the fields or learned a trade.

  • Schools were known as “tablet houses.”

  • They taught students how to write.

  • Sumerian writing was called _______________ .

    • Their writing was made up of a system of wedges carved into clay tablets.

  • Cuneiform Tablet

Development of Writing

  • Writing was developed for the sole purpose of keeping track of business deals.

  • When a student graduated from school he became a ___________, or a person who makes a living by writing.

Women’s Rights

  • Women did have certain rights.

  • Could buy and sell _____________.

  • They ran businesses and could sell enslaved people.

Men’s Roles and Rights

  • Males were the head of the households.

  • A man could _______________ his wife by saying “you are not my wife.”

  • He could sell or rent his wife or children for up to 3 years.


  • Children were expected to always support their parents, or they could face slavery or death.

  • Priests and Kings

  • At first the priests were also the kings, known as _______________.

  • One of the most famous was Gilgamesh of Uruk.

    • Oldest known story in the world is known as the “Epic of _______________ .”


  • Received advice from a council of free men.

  • When war broke out these assemblies chose one man to lead the military.

  • As time went on these leaders stayed in power even during peace time.

  • By 3000 BC they took the place of the priests and became permanent kings.

  • At the same time kingship became hereditary. WHY?______________ _____________________________

Mesopotamian Empires

  • Sargon I

    • Ruler of Akkad (Northern Mesopotamia)

    • c. 2300 BC he marched his armies south and conquered everything in his path.

    • He created the word’s first _______________ , or territories governed under a single ruler or nation.

    • First professional (_______)army.

Hammurabi of Babylon

  • 1800 BC a new group of people called Ammorites entered the river valley.

  • One of the new cities they built was _______________ .

  • The people of Babylon took on many parts of Sumerian _______________ , or way of life.

  • Hammurabi of Babylon reconquered Sumer and Akkad and became _______________ of a new empire.

  • The people of Babylon incorporated the cultures of the people they conquered into their own.

  • Hammurabi was a great conqueror.

    • He improved irrigation systems

    • Changed religion by raising the god of Babylon above all others.

    • Reorganized the tax system.

    • Began a government housing program.

Code of Law

  • The _______________ , or improvement that he was most famous for was his _____________________________.

  • He issued and wrote down for the first time, one law code for all the unified city-states.

  • These codes were to be enforced fairly and justly.

  • He appointed royal judges.

  • Laws covered most of daily life

  • Punishments ranged from fines to death.

  • His _______________ ,or period of power, became known as the “Golden Age of Babylon”

Mesopotamian Contributions

  • The Sumerians developed the first ________________ in the world.

  • Wrote the oldest written records.

  • Invented the wheel, the plow, the sailboat.

  • Invented the 12-month calendar.

  • They made huge accomplishments in the field of mathematics.

  • Developed a number system based on 60.

    • From this came the 60-minute hour, the 60- second minute, the 360 degree circle.

    • Used a _______________ based on drips of water.

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