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Mesopotamia

Mesopotamia Vocabulary & Key Concepts

Term OR ConceptDefinition OR Explanation
civilization Society with government, economy, religion, art, music, science, and farming. Sumer in Mesopotamia= first civilization
Mesopotamia "land between two rivers," region specifically BETWEEN the Tigris & Euphrates Rivers in modern day Iraq
Fertile Crescent a curve of GOOD FARMLAND from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea; located between and AROUND the Tigris & Euphrates Rivers
irrigation the use of technology to supply water to crops
levee raised areas of soil and door/lever system used in irrigation
city-state an independent state that includes a city and surrounding countryside; each had own government, laws, and god
barter a system of trading goods without money
ziggurats pyramid-shaped brick towers that served as Mesopotamian temples
polytheistic belief in more than one god
Sumer collection of city-states in Mesopotamia; earliest evidence from approx. 3500 BCE
barley primary crop grown in Sumer
cuneiform Sumerian writing made up of wedge-shaped signs
scribe Sumerian writer trained to keep records using cuneiform
priest-king Sumerian governmental and religious leader
hereditary passed down from parent to child
Gilgamesh name of a priest-king on record, but legendary stories are myths that make him seem godlike
Hammurabi created law code based on "eye for an eye"
Created by: Dr. Bohny