Mesopotamia Webquest

Social Studies

•Mesopotamian Geographers

Mesopotamia was located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Mesopotamia got it's name because it means land between two rivers. Mesopotamia has some rain but mostly dry. What people used to call Mesopotamia we now call Iran. Mesopotamia is about 7,000 miles from our school Elm City Middle. Mesopotamia is also known as the Fertile Crescent because of the fertile soil they have.

•Mesopotamia Historians

The civilizations that were in Mesopotamia were:

1. Sumerians:3500 - 1800 B.C.

2. Kassites:1530 - 1170 B.C.

3. Assyrians:1170 - 612 B.C.

4. Chaldeans:612 - 539 B.C.

5. Akkadians:2340 - 2125 B.C.

6. Amorites:1800 - 1530

7. Hitites:1600 - 717 B.C.

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The requirements of a civilization:

1. Cities

2. Written Language

3. Religious Structure

4. Political Structure

5. Materialistic Value

6. Economy

7. Art

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The Importance of Hammurabi Laws

They were important because it was the first time state laws were set down in a writing format. They also brought not only justice but also fairness to the people. It didn't take him just five minutes to write these laws it took years. This as a big deal because it was the first language written.

1. If any one ensnare another, putting a ban upon him, but he cannot prove it, then he that ensnared him shall be put to death.

2. If he satisfy the elders to impose a fine of grain or money, he shall receive the fine that the action produces.

3. If any one steal the property of a temple or of the court, he shall be put to death, and also the one who receives the stolen thing from him shall be put to death.

4. If the owner do not bring witnesses to identify the lost article, he is an evil-doer, he has traduced, and shall be put to death.


The Story of Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh ruled the city of Uruk this city was a very busy city on a flat w plain in Mesopotamia, at the Euphrates river bank. Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu went n an adventure across the flat plains. They figured that bringing back wood from the cedar trees wouldn't be a problem. This tree wasn't an ordinary tree it was a special tree. This tree was special in four different ways. One way because they grew very straight and tall. Second is their long timbers were used for roof beams and doors. For the temple and the palaces in the city. It was also the best for building because it was long lasting. This wood stayed in its place for many, many years. The cedar tree never decayed. It was also special because of its very pleasant smell. Now everyone in the city had heard stories of the demon. Humbaba was the one who gaurded the cedar trees in the faraway hills. Humbaba's roar sounded like a flood, his breath was like death, and and his mouth was like fire. Despite the dangers they could face they were excited at the thought of being able to meet Humbaba. They both were strong and believed they could defeat him in any battle. They also believed that their journey would certainly provide the adventure of a lifetime. Gilgamesh and Enkidu headed for the cedar forest with all their supplies that would last them several weeks along with all their weapons to battle Humbaba with. They traveled very fast. Normally the adventure would take so months but the two friends took only fifteen days. When they reached the mountains they gazed at the beautiful sight. The trees covered the mountains and grew straight and tall. They stopped and gave their offering to Shamash the sun god at the night to rest. The next morning they started heading towards the forests. They finally came to were the best cedar trees in the forest grew. Hey sat all their supplies and prepared to cut the tallest trees down. When they touched their axes and began to cut a tree when they heard an awful noise. They froze a guessed that the sound came from the demon Humbaba. All of the sudden the demon was standing before them. He had teeth like a dragon, a face like a lion and glaring eyes. Humbaba then demanded then to tell him why they had entered the forest. Even though the demon threatened he would destroy him they decided to stay and fight. With the help of the sun god Shamash 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. They then chopped down a lot of trees lashed them together and in a few days they returned to the city. Then everyone in the city got together and listened to the stories of their great adventures.


•Mesopotamian Agriculturalists

Farming and Agriculture in Mesopotamia:

Thousands of years ago early settlers began building cities around the banks of the two rivers, the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Natural wildlife and vegetation is what kept them fed while they began to build their new world. They wove baskets that were sturdy and strong from the weeds that they grew around their riverbanks and made pottery from the wet clay they found. This place didn't get much rain so they then learned that if you irrigated the land, crops grow quickly. These people built canals to bring water from the river and carry it to the land. They planted wheat, barley, and dates. They also grew other things including cucumbers, onions, apples, and spices. They raised sheep, goats, and cows. They hunted wild game birds and other animals, and enjoyed fish, cheese, eggs, roasted duck, pork, and deer.


How did poisoned fields lead to the collapse of Mesopotamia?

Along with factors such as war and changes in the environment, scientists now believe irrigation techniques had an important role in Mashkan-shapir's collapse. The same process that allowed farming in this region also soon made it impossible to farm. Irrigation has a trick to it if irrigation water is allowed to sit on the fields and evaporate, it leaves behind mineral salts; if attempts are made to drain off irrigation water and it flows through the soil too quickly, erosion becomes a problem. Scientists also believe that Mashkan-shapir's collapse was caused in part by destruction of the fields by the salt in the minerals. When minerals concentrate in the upper levels of the soil, it becomes poisonous for plants. In Mesopotamia, irrigation was essential for the production of crops. The rivers were higher than the surrounding plain because of built-up silt in the river beds, so water for irrigation flowed into the fields by gravity. Once the water was on the fields, it could not smoothly drain because the river was higher than the land. As the water evaporated, it not only left its dissolved mineral salts behind, but also drew salts upward from lower levels of the soil. Over time, the soil became toxic and would no longer support crops.

What did Mesopotamians eat?

Normally the Mesopotamians ate two meals a day. Except for the rich, most Mesopotamians ate unleavened bread. Cow's milk was something drank by them, but it quickly turned sour in the hot climate were they lived. Because meat was expensive, most people ate cooked vegetable stews. Fish was an important source of protein. Fruits included apples, pears, grapes, figs, quinces, plums, apricots, mulberries, melons, and pomegranates. They also enjoyed pistachios. Cakes for special occasions were also made with butter, cheese, dates, flour, and raisins.

Why did Mesopotamians live close to bodies of water?

Prehistoric people were always moving. They had no home because they were always in search of food. They couldn't rely on having a steady food supply, then finding food becomes their highest priority. When people have enough food, they begin to develop other needs. When people have one job, through constant practice, they tend to do that job very well. They are also more likely to work at a job that brings them satisfaction and happiness. In order for people to work at individual jobs, people must be able to work with one another. When people have the same laws, it is easier to trade. People living under the same government, or having the same religious beliefs are likely to have the same values. A level of trust and mutual responsibility often grows among people who share the same values.




What is takes to farm.

• Flood- From the irrigation ditch, work the soil and flood the field.

• Plough- After flooding the field use plough to break up land.

• Harrow- Run harrow over large chunks to smooth and level soil or field.

• Sow- Drop seeds into ploughed field to grow.

• Water- After sown put water in land here times.

• Harvest- Cut and collect crops.


•Mesopotamian Archeologist

The gardens were located on east the bank of the river Euphrates, in the city of Babylon and may have been built in 600 B.C. No Greek historian has seen them, it just consists in stories told by soldats, which is a quite doubtful source of information. According to the legend king Nebuchadnezzar II would have made build the famous hanging gardens of Babylon for his wife Sémiramis to remind her the vegetation of the moutains from her natal country.


Inventions

The wheel was improved later by the Egyptians. They made the wheels and spokes in 1500 B.C. In Ancient India the wheel and spokes were discovered. The Greeks also adopted the idea of wheel-making and made further improvement. Later in time the Roman Empire produced the greater variety in wheeled vehicles.
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What is Cuniform?

Composed of slim triangular or wedge-shaped elements, as the characters used in writing by the client Akkadians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and others. The people that invented this form of writing is the Sumerians.

Classes

The four main classes are the priest, upper class, the lower class, and slaves.

Ziggurats

Ziggurats were temples. Like many ancient people, the ancient Sumerians believed that powerful gods lived in the sky. They built huge structures, called ziggurats, with steps climbing up to the top. From the top of the Ziggurat, you could see the protective wall built about the entire town, and over the wall to the farmlands beyond.Formal and religious ceremonies were held at the very top. One of the jobs of the priests was to enjoy these offerings, because as everyone knew, the gods could not eat for themselves. It was the center of daily life. You might see an artist painting, a boy racing by on his way to school, someone milking a cow or making a basket.


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