Notes – Unit 1/Week 1
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
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
. 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
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
There is no currency in ancient Mesopotamia. Everything was done by
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.
(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
, 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