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Ancient Civilizations


Ancient Civilizations What effect did Sargon s conquests have? The culture of Sumer which had influenced the Akkadians was spread beyond the Tigris Euphrates River ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Ancient Civilizations

Ancient Civilizations

City-States in Mesopotamia
The City-State Structure of Government
A. Although all the cities shared the same
Define type of government
  • each city had its own government / rulers,
  • its own patron god, and functioned like
    an independent country

C. includes within the city walls and also the
surrounding farm land
D. Examples include Sumerian cities of Ur, Uruk,
Kish, Nippur
E. At center of each city was the walled temple
with a ziggurat a massive, tiered,
pyramid-shaped structure.
F. Powerful priests held much political power in
the beginning.
G. Military commanders eventually became ruler /
monarch - then began passing rule to their
own heirs, creating a new structure of
government called a Dynasty a series of
rulers descending from a single family line.
Define type of government
Historians wonder Did the Sumerians
develop this new type of government on their own,
or did they learn and adopt it only after contact
with other peoples?
PP Design of T. Loessin Akins H.S.
City-States in Mesopotamia
First EMPIRE Builders
  • 3,000 2,000 B.C.E. the City-States began to war
    with each other.
  • These internal struggles meant they were too
    weak to ward off an attack
  • by an outside enemy.

B. Sargon of Akkad (ca. 2,350 B.C.E.)
1. Took control of the region, creating worlds
first empire - when several peoples,
nations, or previously independent states
are placed under the control of one ruler.
Define type of government
PP Design of T. Loessin Akins H.S.
The Akkadian Empire lasted about 200 years,
2350 approx. 2150 B.C.E.
PP Design of T. Loessin Akins H.S.
Sargon established a dynasty. BUT invasions,
internal fighting,
and a
severe famine
contributed to the end of the Akkadian Empire.
What effect did Sargons conquests have?
  • The culture of Sumer which had influenced the
    Akkadians was spread beyond the Tigris Euphrates
    River Valley.
  • This is an example of the idea of cultural
  • Cultural diffusion is the spread of elements of
    one culture to another people, generally through
    trade but also through conquest.

City-States in Mesopotamia
Babylonian Empire
1. Overtook Sumerians around 2,000 B.C.
  • Built capital, Babylon, on Euphrates river
  • 3. Reign of Hammurabi 1792-1750 B.C.E.

PP Design of T. Loessin Akins H.S.

Reign of Hammurabi
Famous Code of Law
  • he wisely took all the laws of the regions
  • and unified them into one code. This helped
  • the region.
  • Engraved in stone, erected all over the empire.
  • This set a precedent the idea that the
  • government was responsible for what occurred in
  • society.

Why do you think Hammurabi thought it important
to place all the cities within his Empire under
the same uniform code of laws?
And why do you think he believed it important to
place the laws in prominent locations so the
people could visibly see them?
A total of 282 laws are etched on this 7 ft. 5
in. tall black basalt pillar (stele). The top
portion, shown here, depicts Hammurabi with
Shamash, the sun god. Shamash is presenting to
Hammurabi a staff and ring, which symbolize the
power to administer the law. Although Hammurabi's
Code is not the first code of laws (the first
records date four centuries earlier), it is the
best preserved legal document reflecting the
social structure of Babylon during Hammurabi's
rule. This amazing find was discovered in 1901
and today is in the famous Louvre Museum in
Paris, France.
PP Design of T. Loessin Akins H.S.
Primary Source Document Analysis Hammurabis
Code (see handout)
Cute website http//
PP Design of T. Loessin Akins H.S.
  • Partnered Students Handout
  • Hammurabi, the king of righteousness,
  • On whom Shamash has conferred the Law,
  • am I.
  • When Marduk sent me to rule over men,
  • to give the protection of right to the land,
  • I did right and in righteousness brought about
  • the well-being of the oppressed.Below are
    situations Hammurabi faced. 
  • You and your partner decide what you think to be
    a fair way to deal with the problem.
  • Then together well view what Hammurabi actually
  • Well find out if Marduk, the supreme god, will
    be pleased with your decisions?
  • What should be done to the carpenter who builds a
    house that falls and kills the owner?
  • What should be done about a wife who ignores her
    duties and belittles her husband?
  • What should be done when a "sister of god" (or
    nun) enters the wine shop for a drink?
  • What should be done if a son is adopted and then
    the birth-parents want him back?
  • What happens if a man is unable to pay his debts?
  • What should happen to a boy who slaps his father?

So what do you think?
  • Were the laws CRUEL?
  • Were the laws FAIR?

Two centuries after Hammurabis reign, the
Babylonian Empire fell to nomadic raiders. New
groups would rule over the Fertile Crescent in
the future. However, the innovative ideas of the
Sumerians and their descendants in the region
would be adopted by the later peoples including
the Assyrians, the Persians, Phoenicians and the
Hebrews (Jews).
PP Design of T. Loessin Akins H.S.
Hittites Anatolia
The Hittite capital city of Hattushash
The Hittites created their empire between
1600-1200 B.C. (BCE) They were the first people
to learn to smelt (separate metal from ore) iron.
They could then make iron weapons which were very
strong There were eventually weakened and
defeated by the Sea Peoples. The Sea Peoples is
the term used for a mysterious confederacy of
seafaring raiders who sailed into the eastern
shores of the Mediterranean, invaded Cyprus, and
the Levant, and attempted to enter Egyptian
territory The end of the Hittite kingdom
allowed for the rise of other people in this
AssyriansAfter the Hittite empire fell, other
peoples fought for dominance in western Asia. In
time, the Assyrians became the supreme power in
the region
Nineveh on the Tigris River
Assyrians were fierce warriorsthey learned about
smelting iron from the Hittites
Military Strength
The Assyrian military was one of the strongest in
the ancient world. They used fierce iron weapons
and psychological warfare.
The Assyrians would often attempt to get an area
to surrender before attack.
If people refused and were defeated they were
treated harshly. King Ashurnasirpal once stated
3,000 of their combat troops I felled with
weapons . . . Many I took alive from some of
these I cut off their hands to the writs, from
others I cut off their noses, ears and fingers I
put out the eyes of many of the soldiers. . . . I
burned their young men and women to death.
Assyrian Military Power
Assyrian soldiers carrying away the enemys gods.
Assyrian Rulers Assyrian kings ruled with
absolute power. Kingdoms were well organized and
efficient. Use of provinces to rule Kept direct
contact with the people who helped administer
their empire
Transportation/Courier system They established. a
system where they could relay messages by
horseback back and forth in a weeks time.
Ashurbanipal Considered the greatest Assyrian
King. He collected the writings of Mesopotamia
and established the great library of Nineveh
Babylon under the Chaldeans
  • As Assyria began to decline, the Chaldeans
    swooped in.
  • Babylon, capital of their new empire
  • Nebuchadnezzar II
  • Warrior and builder
  • Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  • Chaldean culture
  • Admired ancient Sumerian culture
  • Developed calendar advances in astronomy

The Assyrian empire eventually fell and the
Chaldeans (Neo Babylonians) under king
Nebuchadnezzar made Babylon the most powerful
state in the region. Nebuchadnezzar is most
famous for the construction of the Hanging
Gardens of Babylon, considered one of the seven
wonders of the ancient world. Nebuchadnezzar is
also responsible for the destruction of the
Temple of Jerusalem and beginning the Babylonian
Captivity of the Jews and the first
Diaspora. Babylon is defeated and replaced by
the Persian Empire in 539 B.C.
Hanging Gardensof Babylon?
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Lived The Phoenicians established a trade
empire, and colonies, throughout the
Mediterranean. Made Living They traded several
goods including glass and lumber. Goods Their
most important product was Tyrian purple, a dye
made from boiling the Murex snail. This purple
dye was very difficult and expensive to produce.
It was very valuable to the rich.
Murex snail
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Murex ShellPhoenicia means Purple
The Phoenicians spread their alphabet throughout
the Mediterranean Their alphabet consisted of 22
letters, it did not have vowels. Unlike many
early alphabets which were made of pictograms,
the Phoenician alphabet was phonic (based on
sound). These sounds could be assembled to make
words. The Greeks eventually adopted this
alphabet, which influenced the Latin Alphabet
which we use today.
Phoenician Artifacts
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Israelites Semitic-speaking people who lived
south of the Phoenicians in the land of
Canaan Compared to other groups in the region,
they were a small group. Their religion, known
today as Judaism, continues as a world religion
and influenced the development of Christianity
and Islam.
History of the Hebrews Abraham Abraham is seen
as the Patriarch, or father, of Judaism as well
as Christianity and Islam. According to Jewish
tradition Abraham is brought by God from his home
in the ancient city of Ur into a new land, Canaan
(the holy land), where he enters into a covenant
(agreement) with God in exchange for sole
recognition of Yahweh as supreme universal
authority, Abraham will be the father of a great
Exodus The escape of the Israelites from their
captivity in Egypt. Moses was the leader of the
Hebrew Exodus. The story goes that the Hebrew
God had to curse Egypt with 10 plagues in order
for the Pharaoh (Ramses II) to free the
Israelites. 10 Plagues The Nile turned to
blood Frogs Fleas and Lice Flies Epidemic disease
which exterminated the Egyptian
livestock. Boils Storm (Hail) Locusts Darkness Dea
th of the first born son (Passover Holiday comes
from this event) According to the Torah, the
Israelites disobeyed God and wandered the desert
for 40 years before reaching the holy land.
King Solomon 970-930 BCE United the tribes of
Israel into the Kingdom of Israel Solomon was
the son of King David, and was known as a wise
king. During this time Jerusalem became the
capital of the Kingdom of Israel
Under the leadership of Solomon, Israel reached
the height of its power. He built a great temple
in Jerusalem which became the focal point of the
Jewish Religion. The remains of this temple, now
known as the Western Wall or Wailing Wall are
still a focal point of the Jewish faith.
The Divided Kingdom
After Solomons death the kingdom of Israel split
into two parts Division The Kingdom of Israel
was the ten northern tribes with the capital city
of Samaria. The Kingdom of Judah was the two
tribes in the South with the capital of
Jerusalem. The Assyrians destroyed the kingdom
of Israel and scattered the people in 722 B.C.,
these are known as the lost tribes of Israel.
The Kingdom of Judah remained until it
was destroyed by the Chaldeans (Neo Babylonians)
and King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. beginning
the Babylonian captivity which would last until
the defeat of the Chaldeans by the Persian
Empire and Cyrus the Great.
The Babylonian Captivity of the Jews was known as
the first Diaspora. The Diaspora is the
scattering of the Jewish people. There have been
two Diasporas. The first was the Babylonian
captivity, which ended when the Persians freed
the Jews and the Jews returned to Jerusalem and
rebuilt the temple. During the Captivity there
was an Age of Prophecy The Prophets such as
Isaiah and Ezekiel The prophets declared that the
people needed to return to the original
covenant or face punishment.
The Jews stayed in Israel until the Romans
destroyed the Temple again in 70 CE beginning the
second Diaspora. After that the Jews were
scattered throughout Europe. European
anti-Semitism in the Middle Ages and the
Holocaust of WWII forced many Jews to emigrate to
the United States and many began to return to
Israel. This led to the formation of the state
of Israel by the United Nations in 1948 ending
the second Diaspora. Many Jews consider any Jew
not living in the Holy Land to still be in the
The Western (Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem The most
important of all Jewish monuments It is the
remnants of the Temple of Solomon after its
destruction by the Romans in 70 A.D.
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