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24 Cards in this Set

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-"The Land Between the Rivers" (fr. Greek)
-meso = between , in the middle.
-potam = river
ia= place, land
-The Cradle of Civilization
-Stories that form the foundation for many biblical tales originated here (e.g., The Creation, The Tree & The Serpent, The Flood Myth, Noah & Moses-like characters, etc.)
Early Mesopotamia:
-By 7000 B.C. (9000 YA), dwellers on the Mesopotamian plains were farming in villages of 100s - 1000s of people using rainfall agriculture towater their crops.
-Irrigation agriculture was practiced as early as 6000 B.C. (prior to the origin of cities / civiliztion at ca. 4700/4600 B.C.)
-Pottery as a technological innovation shows up around 7000-6000 B.C. in SW Asia (also predating cities).
-Early towns like Tell Magzaliyah, Hassuna, Choga Mami & Tell Halaf were making ceramic wares such as Hassunan, Samarran & Halafian pottery.
Upland Villages:
- Tell Magzaliyah (7000-6000B.C.), a compact village of farmers & potters subsisting on rainfall agriculture.
-Hassuna (6000B.C.), an early pottery making village.
-Choga Mami (6000B.C.), an early farming village with up to 1000 people on 6 ha (14.82 acres) practicing irrigation agriculture with canals to feed heat tolerant strains wheat, barley & linseed (oil crop)
-Tell Halaf (6000B.C.), a pottery making village with enormous kilns producing bowls, dishes & flasks decorated with elaborate human & animal designs; trade in obsidian, precious stone, & pianted pottery extended to villages like Mersin & Choga Mami some 960 km (600 miles) distant.
Lowland Settlements:
-Sea level rise of about 2 m & high temperatures occurred during the middle Holocene Hypsithermal Interval or Climatic Optimum when temps were 1-3 degrees Celcius warmer than today.
-The earliest lowland farming comunities date to 5800 B.C. ('Ubaid Period) in the Euphrates floodplain with some towns covering 10 ha (25 acre) holding some 2500-4000 people ("protocities").
-5 km (3mi) canals irrigatedd crops such as barley, dates & animals like cattle, sheep & goats were raised.
-Irrigation canal building & maintenance required at least a minor form of political leadership (bureaucracy).
Big Towns & Early Cities: Breaking the 5000 people mark:
-Tell al 'Ouelli (5800 B.C.), the earliest 'Ubaid Period site
-Al 'Ubaid (5800-5000B.C.), the type site of the 'Ubaid Period; a small farming settlement built of mud bricks & reeds with stick roofs.
-Eridu (4750B.C.), an 'Ubaid Period ceremonial center which eventually grew into a large town or "protocity" with a mud brick temple, substantial mud brick houses with rectangular floor plans; by 4500B.C., Eridu had grown to have a large temple with altars & offering places with perhaps as many as 5000 people; Eridu is heralded in Sumerian legend as "the earliest city of all."; Uruk-Culture temple.
Uruk & Urbanism [Sumerian Style]:
-Uruk was founded before 4600 B.C. (roughly contemporary with or just after Eridu)
-It is a major hallmark site for Summerian civilization.
-Between 4600-3800B.C., Uruk was a nascent city eventually surpassing Eridu in size.
-By ca. 3000B.C., 80% of the Sumerian population lived in 10 ha (25 acre) settlements, declining to 50% by 2000B.C.
-By 2800B.C. (much later), the city core was 250 ha (618 acres), with satellite villages extending 10 km into the countryside.
-The temple, or Ziggurat, was a place of worship & storehouse for redistribution of foodstuffs (theocracy = a religios based government)
-Craftsmen & artisans worked in specialized tasks forming distinct strata in a well-stratified society.
The first writing [Sumerian Cuneiform]:
-Around 3400B.C., writing appears
-Clay tokens are thought by some to be the predecessors to a written script (symbols that stand for objects).
-Clay tokens were carried on strings & marked to keep records of trades & sales.
-Eventually, clay tablets were used to impress incised symbols that stood for objects traded or sold (Pictographs resemble the object they represent)
-The wedge shaped stylus or incising tool gave its name to the script (Cuneiform = Wedge Shaped)
-Eventually the Pictographic script became the basis for a Phonetic script (symbols represent Sounds of the spoken language).
The Sumerians [3000-2300B.C.]:
-Uruk was one of the primary cities just before & during early stages of Sumerian civilization.
-The ruler of the city & keeper of the temple was the En, a sacred & secular ruler ( a "priest-king" of a theocratic state) - the temple served as a religious center, central storehouse, & center of commerce (e.g., story of Jesus & the money changers.)
-Kings used writing to record their deeds & as a form of political propaganda.
-Writing also recorded religous texts, legal transactions, land disputes (courttrials, early maps, sacred & erotic stories, & even doctor's prescriptions!!!
-Bronze weapons are associateed with the rise of warfare in Mesopotamia.
-City states were competitors & rivals for resources, population & territory.
-Walled cities were common to ward off attacks from invading marauders
-Cylinder seals bear scenes of warfare, prisoners & decapitation, indicating the prevalence of combat in real life & in mythology.
-Sumerians expanded their influence into the Sinai, Egypt and into southern Asia.
Mesopotamian Gods:
Sumerian Trade & Economy:
-Trade expanded from Mesopotamia to E Iran, the Indus Valley, the E Med., Anatolia, and the Nile Valley (a "world system" economy or 'sphere of influence")
-Caravans carried enormous quantities of goods like metal, pottery, stone bowls, precious & semiprecious stones, timber, ivory for 100s-1000s of km.
-Mesopotamian states became reliant upon long distance trade by 3000B.C.
-Elites used exotic trade goods to show off their status (conspicuous consumption) & to exibit their contacts with foreign, exotic lands & peoples.
-Elites controlled trade & agricultural surplus, & rulers eventually became despotic (tyrannical) controlling their subjects with economic power, military force, & ideological beliefs.
Mesopotamian Metallurgy:
-Metallurgy began to the north by 5000-6000B.C. with copper implements & ornaments
-Eventually, the knowledge of firing pottery in kilns was applied to smelting ores like copper.
-Copper was in widespread use in Iran by around 4000B.C. & was imported into the Mesopotamian lowlands by about 3500B.C.
-Metal also was used for plows which allowed for deeper plowing with animal drawn equipment.
-By around 3000B.C., metallurgists began to alloy copper with tin to create bronze, a toughermetal, eventually made into weapons which became a major factor in wars of conquest in Mesopotamia (ushering in the Bronze Age).
Peripherals Developments [Iran, Susa & The Elamites]:
-Upland cities became established by 3500B.C. in places like the Khuzistan region & the Deh Luran Plain of Iran
-By at least 3200B.C., the upland city of Susa had become influential, having started out as a medium sizedvillage of 25-30 ha (62-74 acres) inhabited by a metal using agricultural people.
-Uruk settlers apparently had colonizedor influenced developments in Khuzistan by the late 4th century B.C. (ca.3200-3100 B.C.)
The Elamites:
-By 3200B.C., the Proto-Elamites appeard at Susa & other parts of Khuzistan, having evolved in SW Iran with its influence spreading rapidly into the highlands.
-Proto-Elamite clay tablets have been found across a wide area from Iran toward Afghanistan.
-Proto-Elamite & Elamite influence appears to have been spread early through trade, control of trade routes, & eventually through warfare (trade items included lapis lazuli, turquoise, chlorite or soapstone, etc.)
-The Elamite State eventually emerged at Susa by 3000B.C. or a little later, soon coming under the control of the Akkadians.
-By 2000 B.C., the Elamites mounted an attack on the ancient Sumerian city of Uruk
(Elamite Settlements & Trade)
Tepe Yahya:
-A rural community situated to take advantage of trade networks & a local source of chlorite *steatite or soapstone), the latter being manufactured into highly desireable trade bowls.
-Chlorite bowls and tools have beenfound from Mesopotamia, Persian Gulf & Iranian Plateau to the Indus Valley.
(Elamite Settlements & Trade)
-2800 B.C.
-A trade town specializing in lapis lazuli mined in the distant Hindu Kush mountains & manufactured into highly desireable blue slabs & trade beads *slabs were for later finishing by foreign artisans)
City States & Political Authority:
-Several large city states dominated the Mesopotamian landscape by 2800B.C. (Lagash, Umma, Ur, Erech, Kish, etc.) & rulers competed for power & prestige through trade & warfare.
-As cities became larger & more complex, priest-kings began to become more secular (rule became based on political & economic power rather than based on religion)
-Some rulers commanded such power that upon their death they were buried with horses & chariots, their wives, followers & servants, many of whom were poisoned or otherwise executed (e.g., The Royal Cemetery at Ur).
-Clay tablets indicate the rising prevalence of competition & war between some two dozen city states.
-City states rose & fell as their power extended over other city states, only to enter a period of deline & dominance by another city state in cycles of prosperity & weakness.
(Empires Rise & Fall) Akkadians:
-ca. 2334-2112B.C.
King Sargon the Great founded a ruling dynasty at Agade (Akkad) & came to rule a large kingdom through a series of military campaigns (his empire did not survive his death)
-Drought & political instability ensued around 2150B.C. -1700B.C. (Final slide in chp. 15 notes. for chart).
-King Ur-Nammu came to control Sumer & Akkad around 2112B.C. through military campaigns & the effective use of bureaucratic control, establishing rule lasting through the Third Dynasty or Ur (Ur III)(2112-1990B.C.)
(Elamite Settlements & Trade)
-ca. 1900-1790 B.C.
-Heir to the Sumerian civilization, this empire reached its peak under Hammurabi around 1792 B.C., but his empire did not survive his death.
-Later, under the 43-year reign of King Nebuchadnezzar (ca. 599-556B.C.), Babylonians ruled Mesopotamia again after sacking the Assyrian capital at Nineveh aided by the Persians.
-Nebuchadnezzar created one of the greatest & most legendary cities in the ancient world, Babylon with its "Hanging Gardens;" he also sacked Jerusalem, capturing & enslaving many Jews ("By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept" -Psalms 137:1)
(Elamite Settlements & Trade)
-In the wake of the Babylonian decline, the Assyrians came to power around 1365 B.C.
-Their capital city at Assur (giving its name to the empire) rose to prominence between 1365-1350 B.C.
-King Assuruballit (1365-1330B.C.) established the Assyrian empire, conducted wars of conquest, & engaged in diplomatic relations with Egytian & Anatolian kindoms such as the Hittites & the Mitanni.
-Through control of trade routes & fertile farm lands specializing in wheat production he controlled large areas of Mesopotamia, but his empire did not survive his death for long.
-A series of Assyrian kings such as Assumasirpal & Tiglathpileser III ruled through cycles of prosperity & collapse until the last of the great Assyrian rulers, Assurbanipal (ca. 630B.C.), when the Assyrian capital at Nineveh was sacked by a combined Babylonian & Persian force.
-Cyrus the Great of Persia invaded Mesopotamia in 539B.C., & incorporated the the ancient land into an empire the size of which would be surpassed only by the Romans centuries later.
("Great Men" making history)
-(Uruk, Sumerian, 2360-2335B.C.) controlled Uruk, Ur, Lagash & several other cities; boasted of controlling Mesopotamia from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean (probably an untruth- writing was used to glorify rulers).
("Great Men" making history)
Sargon of Akkad:
-(Agade)(Akkadian, 2334 B.C.) established a dynasty stretching from Sumer to Northern Mesopotamia.
("Great Men" making history)
-(Akkadian, 2112B.C.) founded the THird Dynasty of Ur (Ur III) controlling Sumer and Akkad.
("Great Men" making history)
-(Babylonian, 1792B.C.) integrated the smaller kingdoms of Mesopotamia and initiated the first written law "Hammurabi's Code' ("an eye for an eye")
Drought in The Middle East: Akkadia & Egypt Hit Hard:
-See top left clip on page 9 of chapter 15 notes for a passage related to this.
-The Mesopotamian delta was totally artificial environment by 2000B.C., & poor drainage & badly maintained irrigation works in later centuries led to inexorable rises in salt content of the soil & to drastic falls in crop yields in some areas. Nothing could be done to reverse this trend until modern times.