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Mesopotamia Review

Use these cards to help you study for your Mesopotamia test

TermDefinitionConnection to Learning
Monotheism belief in one G-d Judaism is a monotheistic religion. Avraham is considered the first official monotheist.
Ziggurat the temple of Mesopotamians, located in the center of the city state each city state had its own ziggurat. The main god of the city state was thought to live at the top. The ziggurat was a center of daily life.
Existential Questions the big “why” questions which deal with existence Believed in the gods to answer all their existential questions. Since they had a surplus of food & time to philosophize, they asked questions about existence. The answers to their questions were the gods. Example: why so much rain? The gods are mating
Social Mobility the ability to move from one social class to another through education or financial success. many young Mesopotamians wanted to learn to become scribes, because it was a well paying and prestigious job and allowed for social mobility. Social classes were not fixed - you could move up.
Division of Labor when the work is divided according to interest and ability since there was no need for everyone to be a farmer or otherwise involved in food production, people were able to choose a job they were interested in and become very good at that one job. This led to a higher level of competence and productivity.
Cuneiform the written language of Mesopotamia this is considered the first alphabet and it developed from pictographs into symbols for each letter. Wedge shaped symbols were made with a stylus on wet clay tablets.
Burden a community service tax which every head of household was responsible for. It was paid in time! some people sent their slaves to fulfill the burden, but this was looked down upon. Examples of ways to fulfill the burden: working in the fields or cleaning around the ziggurat
Describe the climate in Mesopotamia. Note the differences in seasons. Climate was always changing- you never knew what to expect. -Cool and wet winters-erratic flooding -hot and dry summers
List two reasons why people settled in Mesopotamia. 1. Fertile soil 2. Multiple water sources
Describe the major climate issues of Mesopotamia and how they dealt with these issues. 1. Flooding- they built levees and dams to prevent the floods from ruining their crops 2. Long dry, hot summers- there were gated ditches that stored water, and they could lift the gates to get water where they needed it
List the rivers bordering Mesopotamia. 1. Tigris 2. Euphrates
Where is Mesopotamia located? List three different geographic terms. 1. In the fertile crescent 2. In modern day Iraq and parts of Turkey 3. In between the Tigris and Euphrates
Where was the Ziggurat located? The ziggurat was located in the center of the city state
Why is the ziggurat being in the center of the city-state significant? The temple was the center of daily life. Also, the wealthier and more powerful you were, the closer you lived to the ziggurat.
Explain what a praying statue was used for. When the heads of the households had to go to work and could not be in the temple praying, they placed a praying statue there to pray on their behalf.
Why did the Sumerians believe in gods? The Sumerians believed in gods to answer all their existential questions and make sense of the world around them. Without the gods, the people had no answers to the big “why” questions.
List 3 ways someone became a slave. 1. Prisoner of war 2. Couldn’t pay their debts 3. They were a condemned criminal
Who codified the first legal system? Hammurabi first codified the legal system
Explain the significance of the Code of Hammurabi. This was the first attempt by a leader to codify (organize & write down) the laws of government so that everyone knew the laws & the consequences for breaking the laws. This was a harsh system, but effective in keeping control.
List three examples of Hammurabi's laws. a. If a boy slaps his father, his hand would be cut off b. If a nun entered a wine shop and takes a drink, she would be burned c. If a man can’t pay his debts, he should sell his wife and sons to be slaves
Compare Hammurabi's laws to three laws today. a. If a child slaps his parent, the parent can punish the child but not with physical harm b. If a nun drank wine, nothing would happen to her today c. If a man can’t pay his debts, he would have to sell his assets or go to jail
List three jobs common in Mesopotamia. 1. Priest 2. Scribe 3. Farmers
How did people choose their jobs? Based on interest and ability
Describe the relationship between people who lived in the country and the people who lived in the city. What did they provide for one another? The people in the country and city were dependent on each other. The city was the center of religion, government, and culture. The county provided the food supply and maintained the irrigation system.
List the 4 classes of Mesopotamia: 1. Priests and Royalty 2. Upper Class 3. Lower Class 4. Slaves
Who made up the priests and royalty class? And give an example of something unique about this class. kings, their families, priests Example: priests were bald and the doctors
Who made up the Upper class? And give an example of something unique about this class. scribes, wealthy businessmen Example: both the men and women wore ornate jewelry
Who made up the lower class? And give an example of something unique about this class. farmers, artisans even though they had less money than the wealthy, they too wore jewelry and followed the fashion of the times. They encouraged their children to become scribes if possible, to move up the social scale
Who made up the slaves class? And give an example of something unique about this class. POW’s, condemned criminals, those sold into slavery bc of debts Typically cost less than a donkey, but more than a cow.
What are the four features of a civilization? 1.Surplus of food 2. Division of labor 3. Organized government and religion 4. System of Writing
Describe how having a surplus of food was seen in Mesopotamian society. List an example of an invention of the Mesopotamian civilization that helped create a surplus of food and how they are still used today. They domesticated plants and animals and had a sophisticated irrigation system to make sure they would have extra food the plow - plows are still used today in farming around the world Calendar - to keep track of time
Describe how having a division of labor was seen in Mesopotamian society. List an example of the Mesopotamian civilization that helped create a division of labor and how they are still used today. Since there was a surplus of food, not everyone had to be farmers, and people could choose jobs out of interest and ability - there were so many different jobs in Mesopotamia! In Mesopotamia people were priests, scribes, farmers, traders, and more! Today, there is also a division of labor. Different people do different jobs to help keep society running smoothly.
Describe how having an organized religion and government was seen in Mesopotamian society. List an example of an invention of the Mesopotamian civilization that helped create an organized religion and government and how they are still used today. Since everyone was doing different jobs, they needed a system of government to organize everyone and establish rules. Also, when people share the same values, they tend to get along better. Hammurabi’s code and a highly developed polytheistic religion are examples of government and religion in Mesopotamia.
Describe how having a system of writing was seen in Mesopotamian society. List an example of an invention of the Mesopotamian civilization that helped create a system of writing and how they are still used today. To communicate and record their laws, they developed a system of writing so they could write everything down. Cuneiform was the system of writing which evolved from pictographs to the first alphabet.
Polytheism belief in many gods the Mesopotamians were polytheists. They had gods for everything from the rivers to beer!
Created by: kweil