Mesopotamia Museum Presentation

Kate Gubbels

Farming

Mesopotamia also Egypt were blessed with yearly flooding from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. This high saline content of the soil made farming in this area much more complex and difficult than was the case in Egypt. Any time the irrigation ditches were not able to be maintained, a large food shortage would ensue. The fertile waters were controlled away from the cities and farms, more successfully perhaps than our army engineers now handle the Mississippi.


Medicine

  • The library of Asshurbanipal was housed in the king's palace at Nineveh, and when the palace was burned by invaders, around 20,000 clay tablets were baked (and thereby preserved) by the great fire.
  • The first four of these contain 420 tablets found from sites other than Assurbanipal's library, including the library of a medical practitioner (an asipu) from Neo-Assyrian Assur, as well as Middle Assyrian and Middle Babylonian texts.
  • Virtually all expected diseases can be found described in parts of the diagnostic treatise, when those parts are fully preserved, as they are for neurology, fevers, worms and flukes, VD and skin lesions.


Architecture

Sumerian ziggurats are temples for their Gods. Ziggurats are very high buildings. It is solid all the way through. Formal religious ceremonies were held at the very top. A Ziggurat was built in the center of each town. But all year long, people left offerings of food and wine on the steps of the ziggurats. Instead, they built their ziggurats (and also their houses and city walls) out of mud brick, or adobe. The Sumerians and their descendants continued to build ziggurats well into the Middle Bronze Age


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Recreation

  • Both boxing and wrestling were depicted in art.
  • Terra-cotta plaques showing boxers imply that boxing was a popular sport. In one plaque the boxers are beside two men beating na enormous drum, perhaps in time with their motions.
  • The Assyrian kings were famous hunters of lions, elephants, ostriches, wild bulls and other beasts. Though the king preferred to hunt the larger, more aggressive animals, other beasts would do.
  • The first, the game of twenty-squares, involved a race using pieces that moved according to rolls of the dice. The game of 20 squares was played not only by the rich, since large clay bricks have been found with the board crudely drawn.
  • The second type of board game, the board of 58 holes, is an early model for cribbage.


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Technology

  • Sailboats- With sailboats the Mesopotamians could put nets in the middle of the rivers or canals much more easily which would get more fish to add to a surplus of food being brought in by irrigation
  • Wheel- They connected it to vehicles called chariots. It got them to places they wanted to go quickly. We wouldn't have all the cities and towns without the wheel.
  • Writing- First used on pictograms or on cave walls. We need writing today to do everything learn and succeed in life.
  • Pictograms were used to communicate basic information about crops and taxes


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