Mesopotamia
Mr. Pentzak
Level One Humanities
Fall 2013
Bell Ringer #14

Take out a sheet of paper

Number it 1-12 (skip AT LEAST TWO LINES in between
each number)

Write “Quick Summary of the Epic of Gilgamesh” on the
top line

On each numbered line write “Tablet # (whatever
number you are on)”

Example below:

1. Tablet #1

2. Tablet #2

3. Tablet #3
Sit with your group members
 Take
out your scripts,
macbooks, and a writing utensil
 You
will have twenty five
minutes to wrap up your skits,
rehearse and make props (ONLY
IF YOUR SCRIPTS ARE
COMPLETE)
Directions-Reflection Sheet

Write YOUR NAME on the slip of paper I hand you

Write each of your team members’ name on the
lines provided

Rate them 0-3 and fill in any comments you have.

Flip your slip over and answer the short response
question on the back.

Sample response: “Based on the text, I can infer that in
ancient Mesopotamia they valued character trait,
character trait, character trait because
Gilgamesh/Enkidu… or “Women were described as…
while men were described as… Based on this,
Mesopotamia was probably matriarchal/patriarchal”
Bell Ringer #15
 Give
me the basic PLOT (First, Next,
Then, Last) of the Epic of Gilgamesh
 Describe
story
the main characters of the
Bell Ringer #16 10/20 & 10/21

What did Mesopotamians build their
houses out of? Why?

What our houses made out of in the
United States? Why?
Homework: Vocab List One

Define the following words using a dictionary or online resource.

These MUST BE HAND WRITTEN in order to receive credit

Fertile

Irrigation

Silt

Ziggurat

Scribe

Monotheism

Polytheism

City-state

Alliance

Arid
Problem Based Learning
Question

Look around the room.

Select one object.

Measure it with a ruler and record it’s dimensions
(height, width, depth)

In your mind, clone it infinitely.

How many of those objects would you need in order to
construct a home that was ten feet tall, ten feet wide,
and ten feet deep?
Pre-Test

What does “Mesopotamia” mean?

Name two natural boundaries of Mesopotamia.

Where is Mesopotamia?

Name one of the major gods of Mesopotamia.

Name at least one civilization that ruled in
Mesopotamia.

Name one invention of the Sumerians we still
use today.

What is the Epic of Gilgamesh?

What is a ziggurat?
Bell Ringer #17 10/22 &
10/23

Explain the process/steps of making a
mud brick using the PLOT formula


Include AT LEAST five adjectives!
Imagine yourself in ancient Mesopotamia.
What do you think the life of a brick
maker was like? Is it a job you would want
to have? Why or why not?
Vocab List One: Standardized
Definitions

Fertile- producing or capable of producing abundant vegetation or
crops

Irrigation-a system of supplying land with water by means of artificial
canals, ditches, etc., esp. to promote the growth of food crops

Silt-fine sand, clay, or other material carried by running water and
deposited as a sediment

Ziggurat-a rectangular stepped tower, sometimes surmounted by a
temple

Scribe-a person who copies out documents, especially one employed to
do this before printing was invented

Monotheism- the belief in one god

Polytheism- the belief in many gods

City-state-a city that with its surrounding territory forms an
independent state

Alliance-a union between people, groups, countries, etc. : a
relationship in which people agree to work together

Arid-(of land or a climate) having little or no rain; too dry or barren to
support vegetation
Cornell Notes (Topic on top line)
Name
Date
CUE COLUMN
NOTES
Fill this section in after you
are finished taking notes.

Here is where you write brief notes

Use abbreviations
Use key words, main ideas, or
sub topics to give you clues
about what you wrote down.

Draw yourself pictures

Invent your own shortcuts, don’t focus on writing
the entire slide word for word
When you study, cover up your
notes and try to recall info
only from the ideas in the Cue
Column

Skip a line between new ideas or topics to keep
information seperated.
Summary of the entire lesson goes here (Leave the last 5-7 Lines of
your paper for this section).
Bell Ringer #18 10/24 & 10/27
 What
is a creation story?
 What
are they used for?
 What
can they tell us about
culture?
Bell Ringer #19 10/30 & 10/31
 Who
were the main characters of the
Mesopotamian Creation story?
 Based on what was included in the
creation story, what were some things
Mesopotamians valued? (What does it
say about their culture?)
 Pick one god, goddess, or demon from
your foldable. Who are they? What
are their powers? What other gods
were they connected to?
Belling Ringer #20 11/5 & 11/6

Write your name, dates, and block on the top
line of your index card

Text Talk Time on the Code of Hammurabi

Use the index card to write three questions and
a comment about the Code of Hammurabi

If you don’t have any questions (“pffft, like I believe
that one…” write a question to ask someone else)

Standard TTT rules apply!
Cuneiform Carving

Use the simplified cuneiform alphabet key provided to
create an inscription in cuneiform on your clay tablet

Pens, pencils, and paper clips seem to work best

Your inscription must be at least 5 letters and school
appropriate

Use the plastic wrap around your clay to work on (so in
other words, no mess on the desks please)

Take them home and bake them (with permission!) for
about half an hour (I cooked french fries in my toaster oven
with my example)

If your clay gets too cold it may get too sticky to work with

Recipe for those who want it: 2 parts flour, 1 part salt, 1
part water, knead with hands until smooth and pliable.
Decipher Mr. Pentzak’s example
Mesopotamia

Means “Between the Rivers”


Tigris & Euphrates
A region, not a country!

Controlled by various societies/civilizations over time.

Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, etc.
Geography

Natural Boundaries:
-Zagros Mnts.
-Taurus Mnts.
-Persian Gulf -Mediterranean Sea
-Red Sea
-Arabian & Syrian Desert

Isolated

Fertile flood
plain
Fertile Crescent
“Fertile Crescent”- A boomerang shaped region
in the middle east
 The first civilizations begin here

 Arid=
(of land or a climate) having little or no rain;
too dry or barren to support vegetation
 Annual flooding of Tigris and Euphrates deposits silt
 Silt= fine sand, clay,
or other material carried
by running water and
deposited as a sediment
Rise of Civilization

Agriculture develops about 10,000 years ago

Hunter-Gatherers previously!

Neolithic farmers settle in Fertile Crescent around
6000 BCE

Agriculture becomes increasingly complex which
in turn makes society more complex

Villages → Towns → Cities → City-States

Division of labor & specialization (jobs), surplus!
Sumerians

Settle in the region around 5000 BCE

A distinct and flourishing culture emerges

Later civilizations will borrow heavily from them

Develop irrigation= a system of supplying land with
water by means of artificial canals, ditches, etc., esp.
to promote the growth of food crops

Inventions: plow, wheeled vehicles, sailboat,
mathematics, astronomy, the arch, writing, potter’s
wheel, and the frying pan

Bring us out of Neolithic age, Bronze Age! (c. 3100 BCE)

Iron will replace bronze c. 1200 BCE
Sargon the Great

Akkadian (North of Sumer, South of
Assur)

Conquers most of Mesopotamia

First Empire

Ruled c. 2334 BCE – 2279 BCE

Subsequent kings tried to emulate

Cultural blending as empire spreads
Babylon
Babylon
 Possibly
built by Sargon the Great
 Major
political, cultural, and
religious center of Mesopotamia
 Highly
prized-attacked often
 Tower
of Babel, Hanging Gardens
City Life

Ur & Uruk
 First
cities

Walled

Mud brick cities

Narrow, crowded streets
 Buildings

several stories high
Ziggurat in center of town
Economy

Extensive trade networks develop

Needs/wants- timber, metal ore/alloys,
precious stones, spices

Traded for agricultural products and textiles

Wheat, beans, grapes, olives, flax

Contracts and debts recorded by scribes
on cuneiform tablets

Several laws enacted regarding trade,
wages, and prices
Religion

Polytheistic

Over 3,000 gods. Each city had a patron god

Statues would be placed in temples so there
would always be something praying to the gods

Daily sacrifices
 beer,

bread, fruit, wine, meat
Same gods, names change over time
depending on the culture in power
Religion cont.

Ziggurat- a rectangular stepped tower,
sometimes surmounted by a temple

Every city had one, and rulers used them
to display their wealth and devotion to
the gods

Marduk was the most important god

Tiamat (salt water)

Apsu (fresh water)
Women

Not equal to men, but had rights




See shift in view of Tiamat
Able to own property, navigate legal
issues, buy and sell goods, operate
businesses
Upper class/religious class were
literate
Married young

Dowries

Divorce
Culture

Similar throughout Mesopotamia,
borrow heavily from one another

Cuneiform
 One
of the earliest forms of written
languages
 Clay
tablets, reed styluses
 cuneus

"wedge” forma "shape"
Epic of Gilgamesh
 Gilgamesh
1700 BCE
c. 2500 BCE, written text c.
Hammurabi

Babylonian, lived c. 1750 BCE

Expanded the empire and controlled all
of Mesopotamia

Nicknamed “Law Giver,” creator of
Hammurabi’s code, one of the first
written law codes in history

Written in Cuneiform on large stele
(pillars)

Strict punishments- discourage crime!

Different penalties depending on social
status
Ashurbanipal

Lived 685 BCE- 627 BCE

Assyrian (pretty much the last successful
Assyrian king)

Patron of the arts, highly educated

World’s first library filled with over
30,000 cuneiform tablets

Financial records, agricultural records, Epic of
Gilgamesh, creation story
Five Themes of Geography

Movement- Boats and caravans moved trade goods,
Sumerians invented wheeled vehicles, cuneiform tablets
and steles circulated ideas, laws, etc.

Region- “Between the Rivers” isolated by mountains and
deserts.

Location- Middle East, present day Iraq, Tigris and
Euphrates River.

Interaction- Arid climate, fertile flood plan. Dams and
canals for irrigation. Agriculture.

Place- Borrows Sumerian culture, mud bricks, citystates, cuneiform, polytheism, ruled by different peoples
over time
GRAPES
 Geography
 Religion
 Achievements
 Politics
 Economy
 Social
Structures

http://history-world.org/sumeria.htm

http://mesopotamia.mrdonn.org/sumer.html

http://www.mitchellteachers.net/WorldHistory/MrMEar
lyHumansProject/PDFs/SumerAchieveBlurbs.pdf
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Mesopotamia Sumerians