Mesopotamia

Blast in the Past

The Geographer

1. Mesopotamia is located in between Asia Minor and the Persian Gulf. It is part of a larger area called the Fertile Crescent. It is between the rivers the Tigris and the Euphrates.. Mesopotamia basically means the land "between the rivers" in Greek.

3. Mesopotamia's climate is hot. There are a lot of droughts. It is often over 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Iraq would be the present day location of Ancient Mesopotamia.

5. Mesopotamia is approximately 6372.69 miles away from our school in Elm City, North Carolina.

Historian

1. There were many different civilizations that made Mesopotamia their home. Four of them are:


  • The Hittites,
  • The Kassites,
  • The Assyrians, and
  • The Chaldeans.


2.The Mesopotamians also had requirements for each civilization. This is the list of requirements:


  1. City revolution
  2. Politic and military revolution
  3. Social structure based on how much money you make
  4. Making complex technology
  5. Development of writing
  6. Religious structure and

7. New forms of culture and art


3.The Hammurabi Laws were important because they were all about daily life. They were 282 laws in all.


4. Five of the laws that I thought were interesting were:


  • 21. If any one break a hole into a house (break in to steal), he shall be put to death before that hole and be buried.
  • 173. If this woman bear sons to her second husband, in the place to which she went, and then die, her earlier and later sons shall divide the dowry between them.
  • 174. If she bear no sons to her second husband, the sons of her first husband shall have the dowry.
  • 282. If a slave say to his master: "You are not my master," if they convict him his master shall cut off his ear.
  • 15. If any one take a male or female slave of the court, or a male or female slave of a freed man, outside the city gates, he shall be put to death.


5. A powerful king named Gilgamesh once ruled the city of Uruk. King Gilgamesh was a legendary figure. This is his story:

King Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu became bored with life in Uruk. They wanted to find adventure. Gilgamesh suggested they journey to the distant mountains. They could bring back some wood from the cedar forests. Everyone had heard stories of the demon Humbaba who guarded the cedar forests. Humbaba's roar was like the sound of a flood, and his breath was like death. However, Gilgamesh and his friend were excited by the thought of meeting Humbaba. They were both strong, and believed that they could beat him in battle.They left the city of Uruk and began the journey across the flat plain which stretched out from the banks of the river. They did not meet Humbaba straight away. They climbed up mountains until they reached the peaks. Finally, they came to the place where the best cedars in the forest grew. They chose the tallest trees and prepared to cut them down. They had just touched their axes to the trees when they heard a noise. They both froze where they stood. Gilgamesh and Enkidu guessed that the sound was Humbaba. Suddenly, the demon stood before them. In a booming voice Humbaba demanded to know why they had entered his forest. Humbaba threatened to destroy the two friends if they did not leave immediately. Gilgamesh was frightened, but he and Enkidu decided to stay and fight. They summoned the thirteen great winds. The winds were very powerful. They were the north wind, the south wind, the east wind, the west wind, the icy wind, the whirlwind, the scorching wind, hurricane, gale, devil-wind, blasting wind, storm wind, and typhoon.The great winds trapped Humbaba and he pleaded with Gilgamesh to set him free, promising to give him as much timber as he could carry. But Gilgamesh and Enkidu did not believe him. then with one strike, Gilgamesh cut off the demon's head. Gilgamesh and Enkidu cut down many trees and chopped them into logs. They lashed the wood together and carried it from the forest. At the river they made a raft, loaded the logs onto it and set off downstream to Uruk.After many days they reached the city. The people held celebrations to welcome home king Gilgamesh and Enkidu and listened to tales of their great adventures.



Agriculturist

1.Mesopotamia didn't get a lot of rain, but the people found out that when the land was irrigated, the crops grew quickly. The people built canals to bring water to the land from the two rivers. They planted different things, such as wheat, barley, dates, and vegetables including cucumbers, onions, and spices.

2. Scientists believe that the Mesopotamian irrigation techniques played a big role in it's collapse. Irrigation water is allowed to sit on the fields and evaporate. When it evaporates it leaves behind mineral salts; if you tried to drain off the irrigation water, the water would flow through the soil too quickly, and erosion would become a problem. Scientists believe that collapse was caused in part by destruction of the fields by mineral salts. When mineral salts are in the upper levels of the soil, it becomes poisonous for plants.

3. People usually ate two meals each day in Mesopotamia. Most people ate bread, and drank beer. Cow's milk was also drunk, but it quickly turned sour because of the hot climate. Because meat was expensive, most people ate cooked vegetable stews. Fish was a source of protein. Fruits included apples, pears, grapes, figs, plums, apricots, mulberries, melons, and pomegranates. Pistachio nuts were also enjoyed. Cakes were made for special occasions.

4. Civilizations like Mesopotamia would want to live close to water because of the resources. They can drink the water and they can eat the fish that live in the water.

5. Farmers in ancient Sumer grew crops like barley in a land without much rainfall and with a limited water supply. One of the ways that they were able to do this was through developing a system for controlling the flow of water from the river.


Canals and irrigation ditches were built for redirecting the water to fields that were used for farming. Regulators were then used to raise and lower the water levels in the canals and ditches so the water could be used by the farmers.


During the growing season, each farmer was allowed only a certain amount of water. When it was a farmer's turn to water his fields the regulator was adjusted so that water ran from the canal into an irrigation ditch which ran alongside the farmer's fields. The farmer could then water his fields.

Archeologists

1. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Accounts indicate the the gardens were built by King Nebuchadnezzar. According to accounts, the gardens were built to cheer up his homesick wife, Amythis. The land she came from was green and mountainous, and she found Mesopotamia depressing. The king built the gardens to relive her depression. There were paths and steps and fountains and flowers all built to make his homesick wife feel welcome.

3. The cuneiform is the worlds first writing system. The Sumerian civilization invented cuneiform.

4.The people in Mesopotamia were classed. The kings were in the top class. In the next class there were Priests. Priests held he religious ceremonies and were thought to have supernatural powers. Next in line were the upper class.

Upper-class people in Mesopotamia consisted of nobility and the rich. Some government officials and wealthy landowners and merchants were included in this class. Upper-class people commonly owned slaves who did manual labor, including all household work. After the upper class were the lower class. The lower class in Mesopotamia consisted of people who got paid for their work. This included professions such as fishermen, pottery makers and farmers. They could move up in the social structure by becoming a Priest.

In Mesopotamia slaves were the last in the social structure. Slaves did not get paid for their work. However, slaves did have some rights in ancient Mesopotamia: they could own land, had the freedom to marry anyone they wished and the opportunity to also buy their own freedom.

5.A ziggurat is an ancient temple that was common in Mesopotamia. They were used to worship their gods. They also put food in the temples for the gods.