In mesopotamia villages two accounts of an egyptian

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Unformatted text preview: tch the Video Geography and Civilization: Egypt and Mesopotamia–Impact of Agriculture? at MyHistoryLab.com The first civilization appears to have arisen in Mesopotamia. The region is divided into two ecological zones, roughly north and south of modern Baghdad. In the south (Babylonia), as noted, irrigation is vital; in the north (Assyria), agriculture is possible with rainfall and wells. The south has high yields from irrigated lands, while the north has lower yields, but much more land under cultivation, so it can produce more than the south. The oldest Mesopotamian cities seem to have been founded by a people called the Sumerians during the fourth millennium B.C.E. in the land of Sumer, which is the southern half of Babylonia. By 3000 B.C.E., the Sumerian city of Uruk was the largest city in the world (see Map 1–2). From about 2800 to 2370 B.C.E., in what is called the Early Dynastic period, several Sumerian city-states existed in southern Mesopotamia, arranged in north–south lines along the major watercourses. Among these cities were Uruk, Ur, Nippur, Shuruppak, and Lagash. Some of the city-states formed leagues among themselves that apparently had both political and religious significance. Quarrels over water and agricultural land led to incessant warfare, and in time, stronger towns and leagues conquered weaker ones and expanded to form kingdoms ruling several city-states. Unlike the Sumerians, the people who occupied northern Mesopotamia and Syria spoke mostly Semitic languages (that is, languages in the same family as Arabic and Hebrew). The Sumerian language is not related to any language known today. Many of these Semitic peoples absorbed aspects of Sumerian culture, especially writing. In northern Babylonia, the Mesopotamians believed that the large city of Kish had history’s first kings. In the far east of this territory, not far from modern Baghdad, a people known as the Akkadians established their own kingdom at a capital city called Akkade, under their first king, Sargon, who had been a servant of the king of Kish. CRAIMC01_001-039hr.qxp 8/12/10 3:57 PM Page 9 Chapter 1 Black The Birth of Civilization 9 Sea Caspian GREECE Aegean Sea Sea HITTITES Çatal Hüyük Habubah Kabirah CRETE Sea LOWER EGYPT Memphis Giza EGYPT Babylon Kish Isin Shuruppak Larsa Uruk AKKAD EL Nippur A N IA Lagash Susa SUMER Ur Eridu Gu lf Red Aswan Sea 300 MILES IA BA BY LO Arabian Desert Amarna UPPER EGYPT Thebes River Sahara Desert Jericho ver IRAN M LEBA LIBYA Mari er Riv N ON Mediterranean O TA M Ri is Tigr SYRIA p Eu CYPRUS Nineveh ASSYRIA Assur P SO ME hrates Ebla MITANNI First cataract NUBIA Ni le 300 KILOMETERS Map 1–2. The Ancient Near East. Two river valley civilizations thrived in the Ancient Near East: Egypt, which was united into a single state, and Mesopotamia, which was long divided into a number of city-states. The Akkadians conquered all the Sumerian city-states and invaded southwestern Iran and northern Syria. This was history’s first empire, having a heartland, provinces, and an absolute ruler. It includ...
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This document was uploaded on 04/03/2014.

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