Mesopotamia Homework Document

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Mesopotamian E-books

  • Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses by Vincent Hale (Editor)
    Mesopotamian religion was one of the earliest religious systems to develop and in turn influence civilization. Followed by the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians, Mesopotamian religion and mythology reflected the complexities of these societies and has been preserved in remnants of their cultural, economic, and political institutions.

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  • The Early River Valley Civilizations by Rebecca Kraft Rector
    The earliest civilizations developed in fertile river valleys, where the conditions were right to support large, settled populations. This book tracks how social hierarchies, religion, culture, written language, technology, and more developed first in Mesopotamia and then independently in the Nile, Indus, and Yellow River Valleys. A timeline helps readers get a better grasp of what developments were happening simultaneously in different parts of the world. This title will give readers a real appreciation for the contributions of each of these influential civilizations.

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  • Ancient Egypt and the Near East
    Ancient Egypt and the Near East explores the early civilizations that developed in Egypt and Mesopotamia between the start of farming in the Nile Valley around 6000 BCE and the defeat of the Persians by Alexander the Great in 330 BCE.

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  • Living in Ancient Mesopotamia by Norman Bancroft Hunt
    Focuses on two ideal periods set in about 3500 BC (Sumer) and 1000 to 500 BC (Assyria and Babylonia). This book examines several aspects of daily life across various strata of society, from the kings and priests to the slaves; from food to religious beliefs. It is useful for students who want to learn more about life in ancient Mesopotamia.

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  • Tools and Treasures of Ancient Mesopotamia by Matt Doeden
    How often do you write or read? Do you live in or near a city? Writing and cities both began in ancient Mesopotamia. Find out where the ancient Mesopotamians lived, what their lives were like, and what happened to them.

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  • Ancient Mesopotamian Technology by Kristi Holl
    This informative resource will reveal that the ancient Mesopotamians were an innovative and forward-thinking people. They solved societal problems, such as regulating water to make sure they had a ready supply when they needed it. Readers will also be engaged throughout the volume with descriptions of their technological achievements, such as the construction of their cities, ziggurats, transportation, and weapons, just to name a few.

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  • Ancient Mesopotamian Daily Life by Barbara Krasner
    A day in the life of the average Mesopotamian was quite a bit different from the daily lives of most of us today. Learn about the overreaching class structure as well as the organization of the homes. The informative text informs readers about everything from the clothes they wore, to the jewelry they adorned themselves with, and to the ways they wore their hair.

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  • Ancient Mesopotamian Culture by Barbara Krasner
    This title will guide the eager reader through the cultural lives of the Mesopotamians. Readers will also get an overview of what their own education would have been like in Mesopotamian times. Ample color photographs provide context for the lives of these ancient peoples. Lively text teaches readers about the innovations in astronomy, mathematics, and literature, as well as music, dance, and more.

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  • Ancient Mesopotamian Government and Geography by Laura La Bella
    We often think of ancient times as simpler and more basic, but the ancient Mesopotamians were a complex society, in which people used their geography to their advantage. This informative resource explores the rise of the city-state as well as what led to their development, including the heights and densities of the buildings and levels of government. Readers will also learn how city-states differ from simple settlements. This thoroughly researched volume also delves into Mesopotamian empires and how the ancient Mesopotamians governed, such as by using a set of laws called the Code of Hammurabi.

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  • Ancient Mesopotamian Religion and Beliefs by Laura Loria
    The religion of ancient Mesopotamia was rich and varied. Readers will learn about the colorful major gods, as well as several lesser gods. They will also get insight into the structure and rituals of the religion, such as the roles of the priests and kings and their relationships to the gods. This instructive book also explains how astronomy and the constellations figured into their worship.

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  • The Mesopotamians by Wil Mara
    This book focuses on the discoveries and inventions of the ancient Mesopotamian civilization in the areas of transportation, agriculture, architecture, science, and technology.

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  • Ancient Civilizations by Britannica Educational Publishing
    Responsible for the first writing system and home to elaborate kingdoms and societies, Mesopotamia has been aptly labeled as the birthplace of the worldOCOs first advanced civilizations. Although much remains unknown about the life and structure of Mesopotamia, the writings and artifacts left behind have shed elucidating light on a number of its significant developments and technological advances. This absorbing volume explores Sumer, Babylon, and the other early settlements that flourished in the enchanting land between the Tigris and Euphrates."

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  • Life in Ancient Mesopotamia by Don Nardo
    Discusses the history and lifestyles of the people on Ancient Mesopotamia.

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  • The Mesopotamian Empires by Ellis Roxburgh
    Mesopotamia is often considered the origin of civilization. Nestled on the Fertile Crescent, this empire created the first system of writing and improved farming and livestock so that specialization was possible.

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  • Technology in Ancient Mesopotamia by Charlie Samuels
    Sure to draw readers in, the main historical content covers the many cultures of ancient Mesopotamia and their technological advances in many areas, from shipbuilding to farming. Fascinating artistic renderings of ziggurats, Mesopotamian cities, and how arrowheads were made using clay molds enhance each section, along with up-close photographs of artifacts and ancient craftwork.

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  • Empires of Ancient Mesopotamia by Barbara A. Somervill; Leslie Schramer
    Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, was the site of the world's first stable civilizations, including Sumer, Babylonia, and Assyria. This book details the development of this area, the growth of its city-states, the daily life of its people, and how their influence is still felt today.

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  • The Decline of Ancient Mesopotamian Civilization by Xina M. Uhl
    It may be hard to wrap one's head around how such a thriving people as the ancient Mesopotamians could fall. This volume offers readers a detailed overview of how this complex and intriguing people declined from their previous prosperity. The text explains the natural causes, such as drought, the structural issues, and invasions that led to the downfall of a civilization that nevertheless offers a lasting legacy.

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Ancient Mesopotamia


Ancient Mesopotamia refers to the place where humans first formed civilizations. It was here that people first gathered in large cities, learned to write, and created governments. For this reason Mesopotamia is often called the "Cradle of Civilization".


Map of Mesopotamia by Atanas Kostovski

Geography

The word Mesopotamia means "the land between rivers". When people say Mesopotamia they are referring to a section of land in the Middle East between and around the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Today this land is located mostly in the country of Iraq. There are also portions in southwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey, and northeastern Syria.

The heart of Mesopotamia lies between the two rivers in southern Iraq. The land there is fertile and there is plenty of water around the major two rivers to allow for irrigation and farming.

Civilizations and Empires

Early settlers in Mesopotamia started to gather in small villages and towns. As they learned how to irrigate land and grow crops on large farms, the towns grew bigger. Eventually these towns became large cities. New inventions such as government and writing were formed to help keep order in the cities. The first human civilization was formed.

Sumer - The Sumerians were the first humans to form a civilization. They invented writing and government. They were organized in city-states where each city had its own independent government ruled by a king that controlled the city and the surrounding farmland. Each city also had its own primary god. Sumerian writing, government, and culture would pave the way for future civilizations.

Akkadians - The Akkadians came next. They formed the first united empire where the city-states of the Sumer were united under one ruler. The Akkadian language replaced the Sumerian language during this time. It would be the main language throughout much of the history of Mesopotamia.

Babylonians - The city of Babylon became the most powerful city in Mesopotamia. Throughout the history of the region, the Babylonians would rise and fall. At times the Babylonians would create vast empires that ruled much of the Middle East. The Babylonians were the first to write down and record their system of law.

Assyrians - The Assyrians came out of the northern part of Mesopotamia. They were a warrior society. They also ruled much of the Middle East at different times over the history of Mesopotamia. Much of what we know about the history of Mesopotamia comes from clay tablets found in Assyrian cities.

Persians - The Persians put an end to the rule of the Assyrians and the Babylonians. They conquered much of the Middle East including Mesopotamia.

Interesting Facts About Mesopotamia
  • The Babylonian law created by King Hammurabi, the Code of Hammurabi, may be the oldest written law in the world.
  • The Sumerians are often credited with inventing the wheel.
  • At the center of each major city was a temple to the city's god called a ziggurat.
  • The Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers are both well over 1,000 miles long.
  • Because this is where people first began to write, Mesopotamia is often called the place where history began.
  • Mesopotamia is part of a larger area that archeologists call the Fertile Crescent.
  • Many of the buildings, walls, and structures were made from sun-dried bricks. These bricks didn't last long, so very little of Ancient Mesopotamian cities still stand.
  • Much of what we know about Mesopotamian history comes from thousands of clay tablets found in the library at the Assyrian city of Nineveh.
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