U1Notes - Notes Unit 1/Week 1 Mesopotamia is a region of...

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Notes – Unit 1/Week 1 Mesopotamia is a region of the world that that produced the Western world’s first civilization. It lies between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in modern day Iraq Sumer was in the Southern part of Mesopotamia where a group of people called Sumerians lived. Sumerian civilization flourished from roughly 4000-1000 BC. One of the most important advancements of the Sumerian civilization was irrigation . In order to control water flow, they constructed levees. Before levees and irrigation, humans would be at the mercy of weather and flooding rivers, so some years, there would be too much water, while other years, not enough. Now, the Mesopotamians could irrigate and control water flow, allowing them to have a consistent food supply Human ingenuity makes life easier! In fact, wheat grew so well, there were even food surpluses. The people of Sumer would use this food surplus to trade with other towns in the region. They would receive textiles, furniture or raw materials like wood. There is no currency in ancient Mesopotamia. Everything was done by barter (trade) This economic prosperity caused towns to grow, spread and become large cities For example, SMC and Santa Monica high school would be small towns, but they grow, eventually come into contact with one another and form a big city. They would gradually evolve into cities with tens of thousands of people Ur and Uruk are two of the most famous and oldest cities from this period. In some respects, they resemble large cities today. Mesopotamian Religion Mesopotamians were polytheistic (they believed in many different Gods.) There were priests and temples in Ancient Mesopotamia Mesopotamians believed that Gods created humans in order to help the Gods. The Gods grew tired of irrigating and farming themselves, so they created humans Since Gods were like people, they could also be friendly, helpful, or angry One example is Enlil , the storm god. Normally Enlil was kind and fatherly - he made the soil rich so food would grow, and he even invented the plow! But sometimes Enlil got mad, and when he got mad, he caused thunder, lightening, too much water and flooding! 1
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Somehow, the Sumerians had offended one of their Gods The point of these gods was to explain the world – Why did rain and lightening occur? How were babies made? The gods made them Why did people get sick? The Gods were angry at them There was a god for each ailment. If I got a stomach ache, I would know what god to pray to. Sumerians would offer gifts to the gods in hopes of obtaining a cure
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U1Notes - Notes Unit 1/Week 1 Mesopotamia is a region of...

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