By: Garrison Nelson
2. Picture of map.
3. Almost all the precipitation in the central desert regions and high rainfall on the mountains around it.
4. Today Mesopotamia is called Baghdad.
5. It would take 6374.00 miles to get there.
1) Urban Revolution.
2) Development of writing.
3) Distinct religious structure.
4. Here are 5 facts of Hammurabi laws:
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 any one bring an accusation against a man, and the accused go to the river and leap into the river, if he sink in the river his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if the river prove that the accused is not guilty, and he escape unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.
3). If any one bring an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense charged, be put to death.
4) If he satisfy the elders to impose a fine of grain or money, he shall receive the fine that the action produces.
5) If a judge try a case, reach a decision, and present his judgment in writing; if later error shall appear in his decision, and it be through his own fault, then he shall pay twelve times the fine set by him in the case, and he shall be publicly removed from the judge's bench, and never again shall he sit there to render judgement.
The ancient Sumerians were great story tellers, perhaps not as good as the ancient Greeks - but still, very good. Thousands of years ago, they created the story of Gilgamesh.
Gilgamesh is one of the oldest recorded stories in the world. It's about an ancient King of Uruk who may have actually existed and whose name - Gilgamesh - is on the Sumerian King List. (But then, the ancient Sumerians created the list, so there is really no telling.)
According to the story, Gilgamesh was not just a hero. He was the first superhero! He was part god and part human. He had many special powers.
Many thousands of years ago, early settlers began to build cities along the banks of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. Natural wildlife and vegetation kept them fed while they began to build their new world.
They wove sturdy baskets from the weeds that grew along the riverbanks and made pottery from the wet clay.
It did not rain much, but the early settlers soon learned that if you irrigated the land, crops grew quickly. These early people built canals to bring water to the land from the rivers. They planted wheat, barley, dates, and vegetables 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.
Along with factors such as war and changes in the environment, scientists now believe irrigation techniques played an important role in Mashkan-shapir's collapse. The same process that allowed farming in this region also eventually made it impossible to farm. Irrigation has a Catch-22: 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 believe that Mashkan-shapir's collapse was caused in part by destruction of the fields by mineral salts. When mineral salts concentrate in the upper levels of the soil, it becomes poisonous for plants.
In Mesopotamia, irrigation was essential for crop production. 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 readily drain away because the fields were lower than the river. 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. By about 2300 B.C., agricultural production in Mesopotamia was reduced to a tiny fraction of what it had been. Many fields were abandoned as essentially useless. Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets tell of crop damage due to salts.
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 religious ceremonies were held at the very top.