Fertile_Crescent_outline - Fertile Crescent lecture The...

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Fertile Crescent lecture The Region – Geography * Lands between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, up to Anatolia in the North and the Mediterranean coastlands [locate on map] * River basins: rich but vulnerable * Climate and geography: violent and unpredictable weather and environment * Neolithic villages become city-states by the third millennium b.c. * City-states have substantial populations, supported by an agricultural hinterland * Gods, like geography, tend to be unpredictable and unforgiving * City-states alternate with Empires which in turn fall apart into city-states * Characteristics of city-states: dense urban populations, social structures, trade, writing, and monumental architecture NB All of this will be in marked contrast to Egypt Many different peoples, civilizations: First successful group are the SUMERIANS in the south, near the Gulf. They will give their language, style of writing, and culture to later states AKKADIANS, who under their leader SARGON the GREAT, will establish the first empire Sargon’s daughter Enheduanna, a poet-singer and priestess NEO-SUMRIANS, among them SULGI of UR and GUDEA of LAGASH, who rise briefly after the fall of Sargon’s empire Sulgi’s praise poems Gudea and the big-eyed statues HEBREWS, begin here as a nomadic group, and travel between Mesopotamia and Egypt before settling in Israel for a briefly successful monarchy around 1000 b.c.
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